We learned from the one historic photograph of Norris House that the front porch railing and balusters matched those that survive today on the north porch. That was a stroke of luck, because it gave us something to copy.
Our construction team gently removed one of the original balusters and gave it to our vendor for use as a template. The vendor created a pattern that exactly duplicates this baluster, and created enough brand new balusters for the new front porch. The wood is absolutely gorgeous - in fact we think it might be mahogany. It's a shame to cover them, but all of the front porch will be painted in crisp white.
The same process will be used to duplicate the porch railing and the decorative trim from the original north porch. We think it's really exciting that this technology exists, so we we can do justice in reviving this piece of Raleigh history.