Tallac restores two Baldwin Estate cabins | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tallac restores two Baldwin Estate cabins

Sarah Gonser

Time and Tahoe’s rough winter elements have taken their toll on two Baldwin Estate cabins.

The Dextra Baldwin Gallery and the Anita Gibson house, both built nearly 100 years ago, have suffered severe dry-rot damage to their exterior log walls.

Through an inter-agency agreement between the U.S. Forest Service and the California National Parks Service, a team of restoration and preservation specialists from the Williamsport, Va., Preservation Training Center have been hired to fix the damage.

“We feel really lucky to get them. We pay them of course, but we know we’re getting the expertise we would not get otherwise,” said Linda Cole, Tallac Historic Site director for the Forest Service. “Most of them are contractors in their own right, but they are studying the restoration/preservation end of the business. They are extremely well qualified.”

The team is replacing all the logs on the Anita Gibson building and the badly damaged ones on the Dexter Baldwin building.

“On the Anita Gibson house, they are rebuilding from the ground up,” Cole said. “The challenge of course is to replace the logs with ones that match exactly.”

The interiors of the two buildings, which stand on U.S. Forest Service land, have been preserved through fund-raising and grant-writing efforts by the Tahoe Tallac Association. According to Carol Spain, the association’s executive director, the walls have been refinished, the ceilings restored and secured, missing moldings have been replaced, and both roofs were re-shingled.

Cole said the two buildings are believed to have originally stood at the old Tallac Resort. When the resort was torn down, the two buildings were moved to the Baldwin site. First they were used to house family members while the main estate building was being constructed, and then later as servant’s quarters and kitchen for the main building.

Spain gave the two buildings their names several years ago.

“They had no names, I thought it would be appropriate to name them after women in the Baldwin family,” Spain said. “So we carved special signs honoring them. Anita Gibson is still living, she is a direct descendant of Lucky Baldwin. So was Dextra.”

The restoration project is scheduled for completion by September, according to Cole.

BREAKOUT: Stuff that will be elsewhere during construction

n Because of the restoration work, the photography exhibits will be sharing space with the art exhibits in the Pope Twin Cabins. Exhibits are open Friday through Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

n The Artist-in-Action program will share space with the fiber artists in the Honeymoon Cabin. Demonstrations from a leather maker, ceramic painter, watercolorist and a paper maker will happen Wednesdays through Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in July and August.

n The children’s art workshops will be moved from the Anita Gibson House to the Valhalla Lawn. Classes will be every Wednesday in July and August, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Admission is free and drop-ins are welcome.

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