LA MAISON DE L’ENFANT, CONSERVATORY
LAKE OF THE ISLES, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA
La Maison de L’Enfant is set on Lake of the Isles, on a full city acre, overlooking the Minneapolis skyline. While the exterior of the house is classic Georgian Revival, the interior is Continental: Italian marbles, German stained glass, French chandeliers in sterling and crystal, limestone mantles, terrazzo ﬂoors, burl paneling, and a hand-carved mahogany stairway.
Overlooking the garden, the Conservatory (also known as the Sunroom), is one of the most ornate and important spaces of the house. Its walls are decorated with Renaissance style decorative and ﬁgurative murals. They were executed with oil on linen canvas and then attached to the walls in spaces especially created for them. Mahogany wood moldings, coated with multiple coats of stain and glazes, separate the mural panels. This space contains 43 mural panels of diﬀerent dimensions. The ceiling is decorated with a faux ﬁnish.
The room and the murals were damaged during a ﬁre in 2003. One mural was completely destroyed.
The restoration returned the murals and the entire space to its 1917 splendor. Restoration consisted of cleaning, consolidation of the original paint layers, ﬁxing tears and holes, inpainting, and varnishing. The canvas murals were returned to their original look, while preserving the patina. The destroyed mural, located on the top central area of the interior wall, was replicated and installed in its original location.