November 2011

Beaumont_house_EdQ. When did you start working at Beaumont House? 

I started working for ASBMB in the Beaumont House in August 1995. 

Q. What was your position when you first arrived at Beaumont House? 

Systems administrator. 

Q. How was a typical day different back then? 

Back then, when I began working for ASBMB, the IT Department was in its early development. The daily responsibilities reflected implementation of all aspects of IT. 

Q. How have you seen technology and modernization affect your job? 

The IT Department is completely driven by technology and modernization advancements. The huge improvements to both hardware and software over the years have definitely affected my job and the entire IT Department. 

Q. What was your favorite room at Beaumont House? 

I would have to say it was the Peacock dining room, which was named after the unique peacock wallpaper. With its large crown molding and high ceilings it really is a beautiful room. Personally, I love historic houses and the incredible architecture and craftsmanship that went into homes like Beaumont House. If you look closely at the wallpaper you can see that each individual flower and the peacock feathers were applied separately to create the entire scene. Interestingly, I’ve seen this wallpaper only one other time while traveling down South. I stayed in a beautifully renovated historic hotel in Roanoke, VA and the same wallpaper is in the lobby/lounge area of the hotel. In addition to the wallpaper, I also loved the beautiful custom corner cabinet that has a hand carved fan arch.  

Q. What did you dislike most about Beaumont House? 

From an IT perspective, the old wiring and layout of other electrical features did prove to be challenging at times. Since all of the walls and ceilings in house were plaster and lath, we had to find nontraditional ways to install and hide computer cabling for each office. On the northeast side of the house, there was an old dumbwaiter shaft that could be accessed by each floor and that led into most of the offices in that section. We utilized the dumbwaiter whenever possible to run various cables. This allowed us to then run cables to the closets located in the offices or use the slightly larger cutout areas next to the air conditioning and heating units.  On the southeast side of the house, it was a little more difficult, especially on the second-floor offices. The boardroom and library were located below the second-floor offices, so we couldn’t have cables exposed in those areas. The easiest solution was to run the cables from the third-floor storage closets down the walls to the second-floor offices. In some cases, when we were lucky, we could find and use the mechanical chases that were originally installed when the house was built. Even with an old house like Beaumont, it’s amazing what you can do with a little creativity and innovation. 

Q. Is there anything about the old location that you really miss?  

I miss the beautiful grounds and being in such a quiet location. 

Q. How has the move changed the way you work? 

Moving to a more traditional office space has definitely made aspects of IT more efficient. Having everyone more centrally located instead of spread out on different floors and buildings is a huge plus.  

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