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Mesquite, TX - April 3, 2018 - For several years, Benjamin Moore Paints has sponsored the paint product for the historic buildings at Opal Lawrence Historical Park. This spring, the manufacturing company has once again helped Historic Mesquite, Inc. (HMI) preserve some of the more important outbuildings of the 13-acre complex, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, by donating more of its signature red for the rendering shed/wash house and the curing shed/root cellar.
“This past year, HMI was able to secure the services of historic preservation contractor Ron Siebler to restore these two incredibly important pieces of the Lawrence history puzzle,” said Charlene Orr, executive director. “When it came time to paint them, our friends at Benjamin Moore stepped up and saved the day with a donation of paint.”
The two buildings, which sit directly behind the 4,000 square foot S.D. Lawrence Farmstead, were important to the family in everyday life. As history played out on the property, the western-most building was used for processing foods, possibly used for cooking at times, and eventually evolved into an early laundromat for the family’s clothing. Evidence remains of all these uses, allowing the pieces to be put back together for interpretation.
The eastern-most building remains the most interesting. Several experts surmise the brick-lined, underground root cellar could be the earliest building on the property, dating back several decades older than the main house. At some point, a curing shed was constructed over the north side of the root cellar. As reconstruction progressed, the contractor not only removed mounds of earth but found animal bones and rock salt pieces. Wings were added on each side, one for supplies and one for a workshop for lawnmower repair.
The outbuildings were in a critical shape when Siebler came on board to restore them and he has treated them with delicate precision to bring them back to their original condition.
“We had known of Ron’s artistic ability with these old structures through his work all over the metroplex,” said Donna Woodard, HMI chairwoman. “Once we had saved enough funds to start the reconstruction, we also began discussions with him. Ron knows where to find the right-sized wood for replacements, how to use modern construction techniques to hold old wood together but hide it under old facades and find the right crews to complete the look. We are so pleased with his work and hope we can use him on some of the other projects here on the property. Of course, his work, combined with Benjamin Moore Paint, is a perfect marriage.”
The Benjamin Moore company was formed in 1883 by brothers Benjamin and Robert Moore and is known for its high-end, quality product. In 1976, it released its Historic Colors Collection, in conjunction with the National Park Service.
A grand viewing of the newest restored buildings at Opal Lawrence Historical Park will be planned in the near future. Watch Facebook, local media outlets, or call 972-216-6468 for more information.