Program

Challenge Programs: Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

5/1/2019 - 4/30/2023

Funding Totals (matching)

$500,000.00 (approved)
$500,000.00 (offered)
$500,000.00 (awarded)


Menokin Glass House Project

FAIN: CHA-264438-19

Menokin Foundation (Warsaw, VA 22572-1221)
Samuel A McKelvey (Project Director: August 2018 to May 2024)
Connie Rosemont (Project Director: May 2024 to present)

The Glass House Project, a historic restoration to replace the missing half of Menokin House with structural glass, thereby protecting and augmenting the ruins of this National Historic Landmark and former home of Francis Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Menokin Glass House Project is a contemporary historic rehabilitation project to save a 18th century National Historic Landmark in a new and exciting way. We are stabilizing the ruin with a visionary design replacing the missing parts of the ruin including the walls, floors and roof with structural glass. We hope to integrate the human stories of this landscape to actively advance education and scholarship through the study of architecture, the building trades, archaeology and environmental conservation.



Media Coverage

On the Northern Neck, saving what's left of founding father Francis Lightfoot Lee's house (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Bill Lohmann
Publication: RIchmond Times Dispatch
Date: 6/28/2019
Abstract: The Menokin Glass House Project received a welcomed boost recently when the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the foundation a $500,000 challenge grant for its Glass House Project. The 3-to-1 matching grant requires the foundation to raise an additional $1.5 million. Calder Loth, retired senior architectural historian at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, describes the NEH grant as “a good shot in the arm.” An honorary trustee of the foundation, Loth says the primary reason Menokin merits preservation is pretty simple: “We owe Francis Lightfoot Lee a debt. He put his life on the line to found this country. All of the other homes of the [Virginia] signers … are secured. That’s what we must do for our Founding Fathers. It’s a National Historic Landmark, plus it’s a place of historical architectural interest. That’s what we as preservationists are supposed to do.”
URL: https://www.richmond.com/lohmann-on-the-northern-neck-saving-what-s-left-of/article_cc45f24f-0d1c-5dfe-a06a-5bcb73420abf.html



Associated Products

The Glass House Project Fosters Literal and Historical Transparency at Menokin Ruins in Virginia (Article)
Title: The Glass House Project Fosters Literal and Historical Transparency at Menokin Ruins in Virginia
Author: Philip Stevens
Abstract: construction work has begun on the ‘glass house project’, which will transform and preserve the ruins of a historic building in the US state of virginia that was the home of francis lightfoot lee — a signer of the declaration of independence. with architectural design by boston-based firm machado silvetti, the initiative will preserve the remaining portions of the 1769 ‘menokin’ house and replace missing walls, floors, and sections of the roof with glass. the glass serves not merely as a protective covering for the fragile original structure, but as part of an integral whole that brings the house back to life.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/glass-house-project-menokin-ruins-virginia-machado-silvetti-06-12-2020/
Access Model: Open access
Format: Magazine
Periodical Title: Designboom
Publisher: Designboom

Machado Silvetti designs glass enclosure for Virginia home of signer of Declaration of Independence (Article)
Title: Machado Silvetti designs glass enclosure for Virginia home of signer of Declaration of Independence
Author: Bridget Cogley
Abstract: Boston architecture firm Machado Silvetti has been selected to preserve an 18th-century home in Virginia once owned by a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The work is for Francis Lightfoot Lee's home in northeast Virginia near Warsaw. Also known as the Menokin house it has fallen
Year: 2020
Primary URL: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/news/machado-silvetti-designs-glass-enclosure-for-virginia-home-of-signer-of-declaration-of-independence/ar-BB15wsMS
Access Model: Open access
Format: Journal
Format: Magazine
Periodical Title: Dezeen
Publisher: Dezeen

Menokin preservation project offers a literal window onto layers of Virginia history (Article)
Title: Menokin preservation project offers a literal window onto layers of Virginia history
Author: Nancy Kenney
Abstract: Structural glass replaces missing walls and floors of a 1769 house, exposing indelible links to slavery
Year: 2020
Primary URL: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/preservation-project-offers-a-literal-window-onto-layers-of-virginia-history
Format: Newspaper
Periodical Title: The Art Newspaper
Publisher: The Art Newspaper

A Work in Progress- Archaeology at Menokin (Blog Post)
Title: A Work in Progress- Archaeology at Menokin
Author: Laurel Tollison
Abstract: The world around Menokin may be moving slow but work on the ruin at Menokin is just speeding up. The stabilization process is in full swing. As Alice French, Director of Education and Public Programming, discussed in a recent post, the first phase of the process involves the removal of Calder’s Corner. Calder’s Corner is the corner of the house that contains the south side and the west side. The mason team under Oak Grove Restoration has taken on this project. The stones from the wall have been removed and their location has been recorded, in case they are put back in later phases of the stabilization. With the removal of the walls, the archaeology on Calder’s Corner began. Menokin’s archaeology team is from the Fairfield Foundation and is headed by Thane Harpole.
Date: 7/17/2020
Primary URL Description: https://www.menokin.org/a-work-in-progress-archaeology-at-menokin/
Blog Title: A Work in Progress: Archaeology at Menokin
Website: www.menokin.org

Working On A Building- South Porch Update and the Locust Tree, Part One (Blog Post)
Title: Working On A Building- South Porch Update and the Locust Tree, Part One
Author: Alice French
Abstract: A lot of exciting work is happening at Menokin! Even though Menokin Staff can’t provide our visitors with Hard Hat Tours, we will update you through this blog and via social media on our progress. Please follow us on Instagram @menokinfoundation and Facebook www.facebook.com/Menokin for the latest on all the cool new preservation work and archaeology happening this spring. Our 2020 phase of the Glass House Project requires deconstructing the South West corner of the Building and rebuilding it plumb to the roofline.
Date: 5/20/2020
Primary URL: https://www.menokin.org/working-on-a-building-south-porch-update-and-the-locust-tree-part-one/
Blog Title: Working On A Building- South Porch Update and the Locust Tree, Part One
Website: www.menokin.org

Menokin- A Ruin Re-Imagined (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Menokin- A Ruin Re-Imagined
Abstract: A webinar presentation on the most engaging preservation project in the country, Menokin: A Ruin Re-Imagined. The webinar lays out why Menokin chose this unique preservation treatment, where we are now in that process and where we want to go in the future.
Author: Sam McKelvey, Reid Freeman, James Zehmer
Date: 7/1/2020
Location: Menokin
Primary URL: https://vimeo.com/436032097?utm_source=email&utm_medium=vimeo-clilp_liked-2017&utm_campaign=31135

Neither Ruin nor Replica (Article)
Title: Neither Ruin nor Replica
Author: Michael Lewis
Abstract: Architectural Review of the Glass House Project by Architect critic Michael Lewis.
Year: 2020
Primary URL: http://https://www.menokin.org/digital-content/wall-street-journal-features-menokin
Format: Newspaper
Publisher: Wall Street Journal