The architects will produce large sample areas, compare them to the existing floor, and then have family members make a decision. Various descendants are involved in the running of the Eames Foundation and the Eames Office, which carries on the affairs related to Ray and Charles' design business.
The Getty Conservation Institute, part of the Getty Center, will examine the integrity of many objects as well as the layers of paint on many surfaces, such as the metal sliding doors between the living room and kitchen. Their task: Estimate when each coat was applied and determine the hue.
"We can correlate our scientific findings with the historical and oral history the family already has and determine the exact color," said Susan Macdonald, director of field projects at the Getty Conservation Institute.
The scope of the preservation extends to the landscaping, although Escher GuneWardena is still determining which design elements -- indoors and out -- will be replaced, repaired or left alone.
Understanding that these efforts are not only costly but groundbreaking in the world of modern preservation, the Eames Foundation will publish a 250 Year Manual documenting the project.
"Our objective is to make this whole experience transparent to the design community," Dewey Atwood said.
If the family can realize its ambitions and find supporters to underwrite the 250 Year Project of the Eames Foundation ( eames foundation.org), it will indeed improve the house's chances of making it through the 22nd century.
Noted Macdonald, "When conservation's viewed not as a 'one-off act' but as a continual process, that takes you a really long way."