Multi-year Renovation Process Nearing Completion

Winchester, VA 02/12/14…The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley has announced that the Glen Burnie Manor House will reopen on June 10, 2014, following an extensive, two-year renovation process.  

According to MSV Executive Director Dana Hand Evans, the house project is an important component of the $4.2 million Phase One of the Museum’s four-phase Master Plan. Unveiled in November 2013, the Master Plan guides the development of the Museum’s 214-acre campus.

Following the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation, the restoration in the house includes: the installation of gutters, foundation drainage systems, and new exterior storm windows; the installation of a new ADA-restroom and lift to make the main level of the house fully accessible to all visitors; the creation of accessible outdoor paths surrounding the house; the installation of new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in the house; the installation of a new catering kitchen; and the installation of new exhibition lighting and casework.

Along with the renovation of the house, Phase One includes rehabilitation of its surrounding formal gardens, some of which were built in the 1950s and 1960s. This rehabilitation includes the widening of garden paths to accommodate strollers and wheelchairs; the installation of a new Spring Garden; and renovations of the former Garden Visitor Center and Activity Center buildings to transform these spaces to serve garden programming and classroom needs.

Director Evans notes that the garden rehabilitation process is underway and scheduled to be complete by spring 2015. Efforts are now underway, she reports, to raise the remaining $200,000 necessary to complete the garden rehabilitation process.

The reopening of the manor house will be celebrated with special events—including a black-tie event and a garden party—and a variety of educational programs, all of which will be open to the public. Details about these events will be announced in early March.  

Several Winchester firms are leading the house project. They include Reader & Swartz Architects; contractor Howard Shockey & Sons; mechanical and electrical engineers Comfort Design, Inc.; and structural engineers Painter-Lewis. Also working with the MSV on the project is a renowned team of professional architectural investigators led by local architectural historian Maral S. Kalbian and including historic preservation specialist Dennis J. Pogue, PhD; conservator and paint analyst Susan L. Buck, PhD; and Dr. Daniel Miles of Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory, England. The Design Minds, Inc. of Fairfax, Virginia, is serving as exhibition designer for the project.

The Glen Burnie Manor House sits on land that Winchester founder James Wood surveyed, claimed, and then settled in 1735. Wood’s son Robert built the oldest portions of the house in 1793 and 1794. By the 1950s, the Glen Burnie property came to be wholly owned by Wood descendant Julian Wood Glass Jr. (1910–1992). Glass preserved and renovated his ancestral home from 1958 to 1959. Then, over the rest of his life, he and his partner R. Lee Taylor (1924– 2000) transformed the house into a country retreat surrounded by six acres of formal gardens. After Glass’s death and as a condition of his will, the house and gardens opened to the public on a seasonal basis in 1997. The house and gardens became an important part of the year-round regional history museum complex that was formed with the opening of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in 2005.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia.  The MSV is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Museum is open year-round; the house and gardens are open seasonally. The gardens will reopen on April 1, 2014. Admission to the Museum is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and youth (age 13 to 18). Museum admission is always free to ages 12 and under and to MSV Members. Additional information about the MSV and the Museum’s Master Plan is available at or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.