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Falkirk Mansion

Falkirk Mansion

Falkirk Cultural Center is a 19th century country estate listed on the National Historic Register. The Queen Anne Victorian style structure, was designed by Clinton Day, built in 1888 by Ella Nichols Park, and purchased by Captain Robert Dollar in 1906. Falkirk is named after Dollar’s birthplace in Scotland, and his descendants occupied the house until 1970. The estate was saved from demolition in 1974. The Cultural Center is owned and operated by the City of San Rafael and has served the community for over 30 years.

In the dining room, ARG/CS (ARG Conservation Services) staff analyzed the interior wood surfaces and original coatings, and performed cleaning tests for dirt and stain removal. The elaborately crafted wood interiors were cleaned and the original varnish reformed to return the surfaces to their original luster. ARG/CS matched stains on reconstructed elements and restored areas of previous water damage.

In the parlor, a green silk wall convering on the upper walls dated to the 1930s to 1950s was badly deteriorated. Investigations of underlying wall finishes revealed only one layer of wallpaper had been applied directly to the lath and plaster wall. The wallpaper was presumed to be the original surface from the original era of construction in the 1880s and was deteriorated beyond repair. ARG/CS provided investigative services, including analysis and historical research, and procured and installed a replica of the original wallpaper for the upper walls

Conservation treatments on the wooden interiors in the back stairwell aimed to visually integrate the scratched and worn wood surfaces by replacing existing varnish where needed. Work also included fixing the restroom door hardware and marble sink.


Interior Finishes and Wood Conservation


Falkirk Cultural Center, City of San Rafael


San Rafael, California