Beaumont, TX; Jan. 18, 2023 – The McFaddin-Ward House announces the commencement of an extensive electrical project to rewire the 118-year-old home beginning this week as part of its ongoing restoration and preservation efforts.
“The 118-year-old house, built of wood, continues to utilize the original knob and tube wiring from its construction more than a century ago, thus posing a potential threat to the home’s integrity,” said Tony Chauveaux, McFaddin-Ward House executive director. “This will be the largest restoration project undertaken by the museum since the roof was replaced in 2001, and it is vital to ensuring the McFaddin-Ward House endures as one of Beaumont’s primary historical and educational resources for years to come. We have assembled a remarkable team to not just replace the wiring within the walls, but to repair and re-wire all the light fixtures, add needed electrical improvements throughout the historic house, and restore any damage resulting from the re-wiring.”
To lead the project, the museum has again engaged Oak Grove Restoration Company, experts in historical restoration headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia – the same group that previously restored the McFaddin-Ward House’s copper and lead roof, extensive porch, and the massive pillars flanking the home’s entry. Oak Grove will direct the work of Beaumont’s Newtron Electrical Services, a division of the Newtron Group – one of the nation’s leading electrical construction companies, who has been tasked with installing the new wiring. Additionally, award-winning Virginia-based custom lighting and historic restoration lighting manufacturer, Crenshaw Lighting, will be responsible for removal, refurbishment, rewiring, and reinstallation of the house’s heirloom light fixtures.
Work completion is projected to take up to six months, during which time tours of the home will be on hold. The Carriage House will remain open for tours and will soon feature a new exhibit, “The Way Things Were,” an exhibition by Humanities Texas highlighting family and community life of Texas settlers. The exhibit will be displayed in conjunction with the February 16th McFaddin-Ward House Lecture Series presentation, “Architectural Ornamentation – How’d They Do That?”. Exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public.
“While the historic house will not be available for tours during this important work, that doesn’t mean a full array of programming will not be ongoing at the McFaddin-Ward House,” Chauveaux said. “With the continuing Lecture Series, tours and special exhibits in the Carriage House, the popular Movies at the McFaddin’s and Music at the McFaddin’s events, the premiere of the museum’s new month-long community outreach program titled SOAR throughout March, summer camp, and a brand-new Virtual Tour on our website, the McFaddin-Ward House will not be an idle place.”
Beginning this week, visitors from around the world can access the McFaddin-Ward House’s three floors, the grounds, and Carriage House via the museum’s website at mcfaddin-ward.org. The new virtual tour tells the story of the McFaddin and Ward families through the lens of their beloved home. The tour features up-close object details, oral histories from the museum archives, and videos detailing the lived experiences of the people who called 1906 McFaddin Avenue home.
In March, the McFaddin-Ward House will kick off its inaugural butterfly-themed, month-long community outreach celebration – SOAR. Festivities will begin with a SOAR Family Day, featuring an outdoor butterfly exhibit, live music, performance artists, activities for families, food trucks, and more, on Sunday, March 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the museum’s grounds. Throughout the month, the museum will host a variety of special events, including movie night and Music at the McFaddins with the Night and Day Orchestra on Thursday, March 30. All SOAR events are free and open to the public.
Built in 1905-1906 in the distinctive Beaux-Arts Colonial style, the McFaddin-Ward House reflects the lifestyle of the prominent family which lived in the house for 75 years. In the spirit of fostering community responsibility and life-long learning, the mission of the McFaddin-Ward House is to engage its resources and exceptional collection for preservation and education, specifically to maintain, protect, and conserve the McFaddin-Ward House so that it is enhanced and unimpaired for future generations and to preserve, interpret, and share the legacy of the McFaddin family and their contributions to the economic, social, and cultural history of Beaumont and the Texas Gulf Coast.
The McFaddin-Ward House is an accredited museum by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information, visit mcfaddin-ward.org.