The walls are having a lick of paint, the furniture is being put back in place and a brand new, old, kitchen has been installed.
The long restoration of York Mansion House is in its final phase, and YorkMix went for an early look-see.
All its priceless treasures have been recalled from specialist storage in Glasgow. And the team are putting together new displays ready for when it reopens to the public – hopefully in early December.
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These include a display of a Georgian dinner party in the dining room which will chronicle the full evening’s festivities, from first drinks to final pipe of tobacco.
The Mansion House’s gold and silver is “one of the biggest collections outside London” said curator Richard Pollitt – but it has previously been locked away in a safe.
“That’s going on display which is exciting,” he said.
Cooking up something new
A big change is the kitchen. The old fittings were hidden under a layer of Formica fitted in the 1960s.
Now they have been revealed again. And a classic Georgian kitchen has been recreated, complete with range and an 18th-century style barbecue.
There are also plans to allow visitors to help prepare a Georgian feast via interactive technology.
Meanwhile the epic grandeur of the State Room is back to its glorious best.
York Mansion House “is unique in this country,” said Cllr Keith Orrell, interim executive member for economic development and community engagement.
“Anyone who came in the Mansion House previously will see a dramatic difference,” he said. “It will become an attraction for York that we haven’t had before.”
The Opening Doors Restoration project for York Mansion House was made possible through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, funding from City of York Council and a variety of grants and generous donations totalling £2.6 million.
Once the restoration is finished, the house will be open to the public far more than it was in the past, allowing everyone to enjoy one of York’s architectural jewels.