Case Studies

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Project: Nassau Hall – Restoring a 95 Year Old Mansion in Muttontown, NY

Delano & Aldrich, the prominent architect of the ‘20s made his first commission in this area. His first commission is the Christie House on Muttontown Rd whose exterior wall was modeled after Mount Vernon, the home of our first president, George Washington. This mansion is now called Nassau Hall owned by Nassau County. Nassau Hall was built by Delano & Aldrich for the Winthrop family and was known originally as the Egerton L. Winthrop Jr. House or Muttontown Meadows. The estate was purchased by Lansdell Christie in 1950 and hence called the Christie House. His widow, Helen Christie sold the house and its 183 acres to Nassau County in 1969. It is now the home of Nassau Parks Conservancy. The grounds at Nassau Hall have one of the biggest collections of pine trees in all of Long Island, NY.

Nassau County wanted to rehabilitate Nassau Hall after many years of decay. They put the project out to public bid in 2009. Alpine Painting won the bid in the early part of fall 2009.

The submittal process took several months which pushed the project into the mid November timeframe. Based on weather conditions it was not looking good for a 2009 start. Although the county was anxious to start this project immediately Alpine Painting felt that coating systems would not effectively work in the cold conditions. Therefore, after several meetings it was agreed upon to waiting until warmer weather. The warmer weather finally came after a difficult winter and hindsight proved waiting was the best option.

The project required the assistance of numerous trades. The exterior paint was lead based, the glazing on most of the windows was asbestos and much of the exterior trim, window frames, shutters, doors and porch had extensive rot based on years of neglect. Alpine Painting coordinated and managed all of the necessary trades from preconstruction to construction to the final coat of paint.

Our scaffolding team began to construct and contain the work area to allow the removal of the lead paint. Because of the hazardous materials present Alpine had to take great caution while performing the abatement work. Pre and post soil samples were taken to ensure that the work did not further contaminate the surrounding soil. Decontamination areas were set up including signage and hand wash stations. Protective clothing was utilized to protect our workers including respirators, rubber gloves, safety glasses and tyvek suits.

The scaffolding was 320 linear feet around the building and 22 feet high. It was installed with the required safety railing system and numerous posted signs. The scaffolding was inspected daily by site supervisors to ensure it was safe to work on. Additionally, after the scaffolding was erected the scaffold planks had to be individually secured with wire to the frames due to an impending hurricane (Hurricane Earl) that was forecasted to hit the area. Fortunately, the hurricane moved further out to sea and was primarily a rain event.

Once the scaffolding and containment were completed our crew began the process of safely removing the 100+ years of accumulated paint on the building. Several chemical strippers were applied to find the product that worked the best. It took over 500 gallons of Peel Away 1 on over 11,000 square foot building to remove all of the old layers of paint. The product was sprayed on and removed by hand. All hazardous material generated from the preparation phase of this project, was removed from the site in accordance with all local, state and federal laws.

The paint removal process was lengthy. It took us well into the summer of 2010 which caused the chemical stripper to dry much quicker than expected. Working in the extreme heat also took a toll on the workers. Numerous days had to be cut short due to the hot conditions. In some cases the peel away had to be applied and removed up to 5 applications to ensure that all of the lead based paint was abated from the structure.

While the paint removal was occurring, other trades were simultaneously working on the project. The existing window glazing contained asbestos, another hazardous material. Glazers were brought in to remove all the old glazing from the windows and doors, as well as repair any broken windows. This waste was also hazardous and had to be removed following the proper guidelines as required by a licensed contractor.

Along with the above craftsmen, Alpine’s carpenters were repairing numerous rot and damaged wood surfaces. This proved to be more difficult than anticipated as hornets had made nests on the buildings exterior. Our carpenters had to work with a hammer in one hand and insect spray in the other.

There were close to 100 existing shutters on Nassau Hall that were stripped to bare wood. Most had damage but many were beyond repair. We contracted Timberlane Shutters of Pa. to make replicas of the shutters and the associated hardware. This was so that the entire building would have matched shutters and hardware everywhere on the building.

We were now in the position to begin repainting Nassau Hall. A Prime coat of Sherwin Williams A-100 oil base primer was applied by spray and then lightly sanded by hand. A-100 is a long oil primer designed to block tannin bleed through and seal back stains from coming through the topcoat. Once the entire building was primed and approved by the Nassau County Inspector a second coat of Sherwin Williams A-100 primer was applied according to the specification.

This was completed and approved by the inspector. We then moved on to applying the finish coat of Sherwin Williams A-100 100% Acrylic Latex, Flat Finish Topcoat, which was also sprayed on the exterior of the Hall. With great hiding capabilities and color retention A-100 Flat is Sherwin Williams best quality exterior flat finish.

The trim and doors were brushed applied using Sherwin Williams A-100 Latex Semi Gloss. The final step was to paint the existing and new shutters using Sherwin Williams A-100 Latex Semi-Gloss Finish, in a Denim color and then reinstall them back in their exact positions.

As always, Alpine placed a priority on health and safety while performing this work. We made sure that fire safety and protection, emergency egress and jobsite security were part of the everyday work process. Our foreman and site supervisors performed weekly tool box meetings to ensure that all employees were updated with the potential safety concerns on the job. In addition, Personal Protective clothing and equipment including; disposal bags, glove bags, plastic sheeting, respirators and Hepa vacuums were all used properly during the work process.

In the end, the client was very satisfied. Nassau County and their inspectors praised Alpine Painting in every aspect of the project. From the early stages of the submittal process, to our on-time work schedules, and our health and safety program, the project was considered a total success.

Project Details

  • 11,000 SF of Surface Area Painted
  • 500 gallons of Chemical Stripper
  • 200 gallons of Primer
  • 120 gallons of Finish
  • 19 Cases of Caulk
  • $340,000.00 - Approximate Contract Amount

Credit To

  • John O'Dougherty, Nassau County Project Manager
  • Ed Bain, Alpine Painting’s Lead Project Manager
  • Jim Rudolph, Alpine Painting’s Account Manager
  • Our diligent and hardworking craftsman
  • Rich Trefz, Sherwin Williams Paint Company
  • Guy Maza, Dumond Chemical, Peel Away
  • www.NassauCountyNY.Gov
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