Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rear Yard Update

Work is coming along on the rear yard exhibit... only a few weeks now until it's complete.

We have installed new plumbing to make the drainage better. Never again will educators stand in murky rain-waters up to their knees while expounding about life in the rear yards!

The middle section has been leveled and sand and gravel laid down as the base for the old bluestone which will cover most of the yard. This is the original flooring - it was buried under about two feet of dirt - and will pave the space once again. We'll also install colored concrete which looks like the real thing but provides a smoother surface for visitors traveling between the rear door and the stairs.

The end of the week will see the delivery of the privy shed itself, which will arrive in installments and actually put together in situ, along with the woodplank fence to the north and west. At the top of the photo below you can see the space where the shed will sit. This was its original location, 1863 to at least the 1920s.

After construction is complete, the Curatorial Department will “decorate” the rear yard – dirtying two stalls of the privy shed, hanging period laundry on the lines, and installing a reproduction wooden wash tub. This will give you a sense of how the space was used and how it would have looked at both the beginning of the building's life as a residence and the end.

In a previous post I wrote about some of the historical photos taken by the Tenement House Department. Check them out for a sense of where we're going with this exhibit.

- posted by Kate, special thanks to Arnhild Buckhurst

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