The original Mansion was designed and built from tabby, a mixture of lime, shells and water, by Thomas Spalding, an architect, statesman and plantation owner who purchased the south end of Sapelo Island in 1802. The Mansion served as the Spalding Plantation Manor from 1810 until the Civil War. It fell into ruin after being damaged by Union attack during the Civil War and was later purchased and rebuilt by Detroit automotive engineer Howard Coffin in 1912. Tobacco heir Richard Reynolds purchased the property in 1934, donating land and facilities to the University of Georgia for marine research. Following Reynolds’ death in 1964 the Mansion and most of the island was obtained by the Georgia Department of Natural
Resources in 1975. Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve and University of Georgia Marine Research Facilities are still located on the island.
Merik conducted the field condition assessments for restoration of the ~100 year old skylight. After the site visit, research was done at both the Georgia State Archives and the UGA Hargrett Rare Books Library to undertake an historically sensitive restoration of the WH Lutton greenhouse unit.
We prepared the construction documents, conducted the bid process and held the preconstruction meetings. The skylight has been restored, roof areas replaced and tile work on the balcony completed with historical sensitive treatments. Merik conducted construction contract administration, field observations and the project closeout.