The Cooper Hewitt Museum, which became part of the Smithsonian Institution in 1968, moved into its current location at 91st Street & Fifth Avenue in 1970. During the museum’s $64M seven year long renovation, which began in 2007, EverGreene restored, conserved and repaired the century-old mansion’s decorative paint, plaster, wallpaper, stone and wood finishes.
One notable areas of work was the Teak Room, the former Carnegie Family library. The room was originally designed by Lockwood de Forest, a leader of the American Aesthetic movement. EverGreene conservators vacuumed and cleaned all wood surfaces, removed wax and deteriorated shellac in select locations, and resurfaced the wood as needed. They also gilded and hand-stenciled areas of loss, restoring the historic Indian-inspired wall coverings to their original brilliance.
The Grand Foyer’s magnificent staircase required a complete restoration of all wood surfaces, including the intricate banister. And EverGreene restored flat and ornamental plaster in numerous rooms throughout the museum and removed dozens of layers of paint the historic Caen stone.
The Cooper Hewitt is the only museum devoted exclusively to both historic and contemporary design. The massive restoration added 7,000 sf of additional exhibition space.