Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park Woodstock, Vermont, 1805 / 1865

When the National Park Service needed to restore the beautiful Queen Anne style Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller mansion in Woodstock, Vermont, they brought Scott McDowell onsite for a tricky and detailed re-creation of the ornate wrap around roofed porch, which flows extensively around the mansion.

Description of the estate provided by the National Park Service:

“The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion that graces a promontory overlooking Elm and River Streets was originally built in 1805 for the growing Marsh family. The Federal-style brick house was sold to Frederick Billings in 1869 and Billings subsequently undertook dramatic renovations.

An 1869 renovation, by the Boston architect William Ralph Emerson, transformed the property into a

fashionable Stick Style mansion. A mansard roof, pointed gable dormers, tall chimneys and a verandah were added and the trim was painted in two or more different colors.

In 1885, Billings hired the renowned architect and author Henry Hudson Holly to bring the house up to date again. The result was a house in the Queen Anne style so popular at the time. The mansard roof was removed and Holly added much ornamental brickwork. The third story and service wing were enlarged and the interiors were redecorated in lavish Victorian style. The Tiffany Glass Company of New York designed or provided the wallpapers, fabrics and stained glass windows for the newly decorated home.

The Billings Mansion remained virtually unchanged until Laurance S. and Mary F. Rockefeller inherited it in 1954. While the Rockefellers updated rooms and replaced many wallpapers, paints and upholsteries, the house remains an excellent example of the Queen Anne style.

In 1967, the house was designated as a National Historic Landmark. First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, dedicated the house in a special ceremony, attesting to the care and sense of heritage with which Mary and Laurance Rockefeller preserved the property. In June of 1998, on the opening of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Mrs. Johnson returned to Woodstock to re-dedicate the house with a plaque honoring all three generations of conservationists who have lived on the site.”

National Park Service, NPS.gov

Scott McDowell’s knowledge of historic structures, craftsman skills and attention to detail made him an easy choice for the major restoration / replication project of the roofless wrap-around porch on this beautiful American treasure. Scott completed all aspects of the porch project, from structural work beneath, to the surface, rails and ornately detailed molding and trim, recreating the porch exactly as it had once been over a century earlier.