The University of Mississippi is inviting bids for painting an historic observatory building that was used as a hospital during the Civil War.
The project involves painting exterior surfaces of Barnard Observatory, built in 1859, located on the university’s main campus, near Oxford, MS.
Bids are due Dec. 5.
Scope of Work
The contractor will paint exterior doors, trim, windows, soffits, cornices, railings, lintels, downspout boots and dormers.
Mildew, loose paint and surface contamination on exterior painted wood surfaces will be removed prior to recoating. Bare surfaces will then be spot primed with a single coat. All exterior surfaces will receive two coats of primer.
During the Civil War, while the university was closed, the building served as a hospital, treating both Confederate and Union soldiers.
The contractor should also repair or replace any deteriorated wood; remove and replace loose window glazing putty and caulking; and glaze existing windows.
This project will begin Spring 2014, according to the project documents.
History of the Observatory
Completed in 1859, Barnard Observatory was built by the University of Mississippi using funds allocated by the state legislature in 1856. It is named for the third chancellor of the university, Frederick A. P. Barnard, who championed the project as part of his plan to make the institution a leading center for science education.
According to the university’s website, it is believed that Barnard modeled his observatory after Pulkovo Observatory in Russia. He had intended for the observatory to house what would be the world’s largest telescope, but the Civil War broke out just as manufacturers Alvon Clark and Sons finished the instrument, preventing its delivery, the university related.
The observatory has had many uses over the years, including the location of the physics department, home to the chancellor, a classroom, a sorority house, Navy ROTC base, and even a hospital during the Civil War. Today, it is home to the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
Barnard Observatory was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and was named a Mississippi Landmark in 1986. The building was expanded during a $3 million renovation that took place from 1989 to 1992, according to the university.
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