DISMANTLING THE HOUSE
In the summer of 2017 we dismantled the house after doing virtual preservation through interviews and taking measurements, photos, and marking all the structural elements. The deconstruction work took place over the course of one week, led a team of four ethnic Bai carpenters--Masters He, Zhao, Shi, and Yang--assisted by the U.S. crew of Martin Fair, Steve Steinbach, Alison Steinbach, Nikhil Chaudhuri, and John Flower.
The Bai carpenters took the house down in reverse order of its construction, starting with the six carved doors on the central tangwu (ancestral room), and proceeding through floorboards, roof tiles (which were too worn to save), rafters, purlins, plates, floor joists, wall panels, beams, and posts. The salvaged house parts were first carefully stacked in the courtyard, then carried through the adjacent corn field (formerly the vineyard) to be loaded on the truck that would carry the house to the port of Tianjin and on through Baltimore to its storage destination in Winchester, Virginia.