The house at 75 Spring Street underwent six months of restoration beginning in April 2000. The work was the first phase of the city’s comprehensive heritage project resulting from a multi-million dollar gift of the Wanda Wyatt Foundation.
The clapboard exterior of the house was sandblasted and painted a rich shade of brown to match the colour found on shingles in the attic where the east wing joins the main house. Cedar shingles were placed on the roof and the generous trim was finished with buff coloured paint. A wheelchair ramp was added to the entrance at the back of the house.
The interior of the building suffered extensive water damage while standing unoccupied for a brief time before it was purchased by the Foundation. Considerable work was required to bring the building to its current condition. Carpets were taken up and the hardwood floors refinished. New wiring and electric baseboard heating were installed. Wallpaper was removed and the walls and woodwork painted. No structural changes were made, but some minor repairs were done as the work progressed. The wheelchair accessible washroom on the first level was installed where the furnace had once stood. The original kitchen sinks were refinished and hardware on cupboards and doors throughout the house was removed and cleaned. New light fixtures were selected for continuity and to suit the home’s historic flavour.
In 2005 some additional work was completed with major funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The third floor, or attic area, of the house was insulated and finished to create additional storage space. Air conditioning was installed on both the second and third levels and the fire alarm system was upgraded.
Today, the house has a welcoming atmosphere and visitors remark on the pleasant surroundings as they view an exhibit or use the research room.