Stan Hywet’s Director of Historic Structures Accepted to the Poplar Forest Architectural Restoration Field School
May 23, 2012
Mark Gilles, Director of Historic Structures at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is currently attending the Architectural Restoration Field School at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest in central Virginia. Begun in 1990, participants receive training and education during an intensive 14 day program, which focuses on understanding the planning and implementation process for a museum‐quality restoration project.
This prestigious learning opportunity includes lectures, observation, architectural investigation, documentation, and conservation techniques. Field trips take participants behind‐the‐scenes to restoration work at other Jefferson sites. Enrollment is limited and participants are chosen for this prestigious program from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines and experience levels. This year’s class includes students and professionals from Ohio, Maine, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. “As the architect for both Stan Hywet and Architect Restoration & Renovation Consultants (ARRC), Stan Hywet’s for‐profit entity, this is a great opportunity for Mark to expand on his already tremendous capabilities in the field of historic preservation and architectural restoration,” notes Sean Joyce, CFO & VP of Operations.
On staff since 2001, Mark Gilles has been an architect for more than 30 years. Gilles began working at Stan Hywet as a consultant in 1997, completing a report on existing conditions of the Estate and recommendations for restoration of the storm water management system and eight historic gardens.
Thomas Jefferson and his wife inherited the 4,819 acre plantation known as Poplar Forest in 1773. Construction on the octagonal building began in 1806; Jefferson began making regular visits to Poplar Forest in 1809, after he retired from public life. It became Jefferson’s private retreat where he could indulge in his favorite pastimes of reading, studying and thinking. The 50‐acre tract with Jefferson’s original buildings (all that remained of the original estate) was sold to the non‐profit Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest in 1984 and opened to the public in 1986. Restoration continues to this day.