SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Structural Stabilization Challenges of a Presidential Home


From his first visit in 1843 until his death in 1885, Ulysses S. Grant participated in the development of a Missouri “plantation” called White Haven, located near St. Louis, Missouri. Constructed in 1818 and enlarged over a period of five decades, the Main House at White Haven consisted of a variety of wood framing systems. The house remained virtually unchanged for almost 100 years until two early additions were demolished during extensive 1940 renovation work. Faulty initial structural design, istallation of contemporary conveniences, insect infestations, and poor 20th century repair practices combined to severely compromise the structural integrity of the house. This paper examines the history of 19th century structural design and repairs, recent condition of a portion of the deteriorated heavy timber section of the house, planning process, conservation goals, and alternative and ultimate stabilization treatments.

Author Information

O'Bright, AW
U.S. National Park Service, St. Louis, MO
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 205–223
DOI: 10.1520/STP13384S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5415-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2497-4