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The Moldings of Independence Hall’s Assembly Room

independence hall assembly room

How to install moldings in a room with vaulted ceilings.

Georgian/American Colonial Style, 1753

Photos courtesy of Greg Roth.

Rather than me blathering on about the beautiful wall panels, pilasters with ionic capitals, pediments over the doors and Windsor chairs (I really love Windsor chairs!) in the Assembly Room, I thought I’d share an interesting tidbit I learned while reading up on the construction of Independence Hall.

This tidbit perfectly reflects one of my Eight Design & Installation Principals.

historic moldings

Flying crown molding at the top, broken pediment supported by corbeled entablature resting on an eared architrave that’s resting on a pedestal. So much in a small space!

Principal #4: One Room at a Time

It seems our for-fathers were budget-minded folks. Rather than build this important civic building on credit, they “paid for construction as funds were available.”

The hall was “finished piecemeal.”

Apply this thinking to the moldings you want installed in your home — whether you do it yourself or hire a finish carpenter — and you turn one large project into multiple smaller ones.

flying crown molding

Top to bottom: Flying crown molding, entablature, architrave, ionic capital and fluted pilaster.

Start and finish one room at a time and you secure some of these benefits:

  • Pay as you go — forget the loans and credit cards.
  • Learn as you go — what seems daunting at first becomes second nature with each installation.
  • Your tastes may change as you do each room, becoming bolder and more satisfied with each finished project.
  • You get a break from the dust and noise between projects!

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WINDOW TRIM-100: In the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall, Philadelphia

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