About Us


Blackburn Building Conservation LLC is a three-generation family firm dedicated to the restoration and conservation of historic buildings. Since 1936, we have sought to continue the vitality of historic structures and the decorative elements that define them. We strive to implement careful, efficient and practical solutions to the problems involved in conserving our built heritage. Most important, our multi-disciplined approach and wide ranging experience in historic conservation services enables us to tailor your project to fit within your goals and budget. In all of our work, we provide common sense and cost effective solutions to your historic preservation needs.

We offer comprehensive preservation services for institutional, commercial and residential projects. Operating throughout the Northeast, Blackburn has completed major projects at some of the nation’s most important historic sites including the Breakers in Newport RI, the Old South Meetinghouse in Boston, MA, Tudor Place in Washington, DC and Wilderstein in Rhinebeck, NY.

Our work is executed in accordance with generally accepted preservation guidelines, such as those identified in The Code of Ethics and The Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works, as well as the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Our approach is based on extensive knowledge and research.


TED EAYRS developed an interest in historic preservation during the 1960’s while working with F.E. Eayrs & Son, and antique and architectural firm founded by his father in 1936. After receiving a M.A. in Art History from the University of Michigan, he worked for the Detroit Historical Society and later as Director of Properties for the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England). In 1978, he assumed control of Blackburn Building Conservation, LLC and has completed preservation projects at some of the country's most well know historic sites including the Breakers in Newport, RI, the State House in Boston, MA and Tudor Place in Washington, DC.

WALTER EAYRS was exposed to historic preservation and an early age through his father and grandfather. He received his B.A. in American History from the University of New Hampshire, and an M.A. in Architectural History from the University of Virginia. At UVA, he served as a Curatorial Assistant for Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village, assisting on the restoration of the Student Rooms and Pavilion VII. After completing his degree, Walter gained a background in historic site management working as the curator for the Brookline Historical Society in Brookline, MA.  In 2001, he became a partner at Blackburn Building Conservation and has implemented and supervised preservation projects throughout the northeast including, the Old South Meetinghouse in Boston, Massachusetts and Wilderstein Historic Site in Rhinebeck, NY.


Ivana van Hengel Bunatova - A native of the Czech Republic, Ivana received a High Degree in Glass Technology and work experience as a Glass Painter in Novy Bor of the Czech Republic. In 2000 she moved to the UK to pursue studies in restoration where she received her BA in Restoration and Decorative Studies from the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth UK in 2006.  After completing her degree, she relocated to the US and gained practical experience in the conservation of gilded and painted objects at Harvard Art Conservation Studio.  Since joining Blackburn Building Conservation LLC in 2009, Ivana has implemented architectural conservation treatments on a variety of mediums including faux wood finishes, gold leaf, painted decoration and decorative plaster. Her critical eye for detail and excellent skill as a conservator has allowed her to successfully carry out conservation and restoration projects at many historic structures including, Wilderstein Historic Site in Rhinebeck, NY,  the Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA, Old Stone Bank, Providence, RI.  



  • American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Association for Preservation Technology
  • Preservation Trades Network
  • Preservation Society of Newport County
  • Historic New England



  • “The Knickerbocker Club and the Coaching Club, “Lecture Series, New York, New York, November 23, 2018
  • “Coach, Class and the Newport Summer Colony,” Newport Symposium, Newport, RI, April 13, 2017
  • “Provenance and Conservation of the Hancock Chariot, World on Wheels, No. 5, 2015
  • "A Kitchen Case Study: Tudor Place," Traditional Building Conference. Baltimore, MD. Oct 24 2009
  • "Caring for Historic Wood and Painted Finishes, "Traditional Building Conference. Boston, MA March, 2009 & March 2008
  • "The Conservation of Historic Wood Finishes," Preservation Trades Workshop. Frederick, MD Oct 2008
  • "Preserving Finishes with Traditional Methods and Materials. "Casey Farm Workshop - Preservation Trades Network June 2006
  • "Historic Colors in Building Conservation," Preservation Alliance - University of Virginia School of Architecture, 2001
  • "Alfred G Vanderbilt's Road Coach Venture," The Carriage Journal, Vol. 34 Number 1, 1996
  • "Coaching in Newport" Preservation Society of Newport County, 2003
  • "Restoring the Trompe L'oeil Murals at First Parish," Rededication of the First Church Sanctuary, Bridgewater MA 1993
  • "Please be Seated: American Chairs 1600-1900," Presented to St. Georges School, Middletown, RI