Restoring this National Historic Landmark was—and remains—an enormous undertaking. Conservation of the building began when the Georgia Trust accepted ownership of the house in 1977. Efforts to restore the grounds, exterior and rooms have been ongoing ever since.
Currently, restoration efforts at Hay House are focused on the Bedroom Level. Since 2014, the Master Bedroom and Bathroom, the Northeast Bedroom, and the Bedroom Level Hall have received significant restorations. Below, the Bedroom Level Hall was restored to its c. 1860’s appearance.
The Northeast Bedroom, also referred to as Mary Ellens’ room, has recently been restored to its 1912 appearance. The room functioned as the bedroom for Mrs. Johnston and later for her daughter, Mary Ellen Felton. The painted and stenciled Dutch landscape designs on the east wall remain from a late Johnston era (c.1870’s) wall treatment.
Ruth’s Room restoration has been completed to its c. 1860’s appearance. The Johnston family used the room to display the statue of “Ruth Gleaning” by Randolph Rogers. The statue was later moved by the Felton family and the room functioned as a silver closet. When restoration of the room was completed, Ruth was moved back to her original location in the house .
Restoration of Hay House and conservation of its collections will continue for several more years. Guiding the work is a carefully developed historic structure report, a master plan for restoration and interpretation, and detailed research for individual projects. The Trust is currently completing site research and documentation, including material analysis as well as archaeological, and climate studies on Hay House for future projects.