The story of historic preservation is critical to appreciating Andrew Jackson’s national legacy. When Andrew Jackson, Jr. sold the property to the State of Tennessee in 1856 the State considered this their opportunity to protect and promote the memory of Andrew Jackson in perpetuity.
The current fire suppression work at the Hermitage is part of a long line of anti-fire measures dating back to Andrew Jackson’s time. The Hermitage mansion is the result of necessary preservation of the house after the 1834 fire, and its life since that time has depended on a series of smaller and larger preservation projects to keep the historic buildings and landscape united with the message that we cannot understand Andrew Jackson without understanding the physical environment in which he lived.
Historic preservation at The Hermitage is a story of collaborations and innovations that reflect national priorities, highlight the agency of women as the pioneers of historic preservation, and discuss the variations of Andrew Jackson’s public perception.
The 1830s were the early years of the Industrial Revolution, when science and technology began proposing solutions to real-life concerns, such as fire-proofing buildings. Jackson, concerned about making the mansion as fire-resistant as possible, applied Louis Paimboeuff’s “American Fire-Proof Paint” to the interior and exterior of the mansion. Visitors are welcome to try their hand at creating this paint according to Paimboeuff’s patent.