• Location: Washington, DC

  • Owner: National Park Service

HSU Development, Inc. (HSU) was the prime contractor on the renovation and top to bottom refurbishment of the historic home of Frederick Douglass. The contracting team employed innovative construction techniques and materials to retrofit the new construction with the old structure.

Painting, both interior and exterior, represented a significant portion of the project. The Munsell System of Color Notation, a special paint-matching technique, was used to maintain the historic integrity of the building. Imported white sand was hand-mixed to mimic the original 19th century brick-making process. Subcontractor HT Harrison replaced the metal roof utilizing the same hot coal method used for the original installation. Replacement of wood involved a complete analysis to discern the grain and vintage, requiring a shipment from the Midwest. The window shutter repair and replication was another meticulous and painstaking process. A Direct Digital Control HVAC System comprised of microprocessor-based controllers to maintain the moisture content of the air in the building was installed to preserve and protect the historic landmarks and the artifacts housed therein. An upgraded fire alarm and new sprinklers replaced the old, antiquated systems.