This morning Governor Cuomo announced that $6.2 million in grant awards would be distributed among 16 historically significant properties, all of which still need repair after suffering severe damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This is the second round of funding put towards rehabilitating historic landmarks; last year $5 million was put toward 14 different sites.
In New York City, the sites include Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan; The Evergreens and Green-Wood Cemeteries, Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79 and Lookout Hill in Brooklyn; and the Basketmaker’s House and Louis A. and Laura Stirn House on Staten Island.
A full list of properties getting some TLC are below. This program is funded by the National Park Service and administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Here are the details from the official announcement:
The Evergreens Cemetery Landscape Restoration - $1.3 million (two grants)
The Evergreens Cemetery, established in 1849, experienced severe winds during Sandy, causing trees to fall and crush monuments and gravestones. The $1 million grant will help the cemetery remove debris from toppled trees, complete landscape restoration and repair monuments and gravestones. The Evergreens Cemetery Preservation Foundation will also receive a $320,000 grant to commission a cultural landscape report to assess damage to the landscape, and provide short-term and long-term treatment plans. In addition to the 800 burials taking place at the cemetery every year, it also serves as a place where visitors can take stroll or jog enjoying nature in a surrounding urban environment in Brooklyn.
Green-Wood Cemetery Cleanup, Landscape and Monument Restoration Project - $565,475
Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark and important tourist attraction, will complete the clean-up and restoration due to destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. The work includes restoring the Breithaupt Mausoleum; replanting 50 large trees; and purchasing a stump grinder and brush chipper.
Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79 Restoration Project - $269,274
Situated in the port in Red Hook, the Lehigh Valley Barge No. 79 sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Sandy. Work will include to repair the planking, raise the height of the protective sheathing on both the bow and stern to better protect the boat, re-caulk all hull planking above the waterline, replace deteriorated wooden rubbing timbers, repair deteriorated walkways and apply waterproofing. Barge 79, now a waterfront museum, represents the only surviving all-wooden example of the Hudson River Railroad Barge that remains afloat and accessible to the general public.
Lookout Hill Restoration Project - $488,228
Lookout Hill, a centerpiece in the Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed 1870 Prospect Park in Brooklyn, lost approximately 500 trees and suffered severe damage to the wooded slopes of Lookout Hill. The project will involve removing all fallen material and stabilizing the slope to buffer against future storms and foot traffic. The park receives millions of visitors every year with many walkers, runners and birders using the park regularly.
Fraunces Tavern Museum Electrical System Upgrades - $587,550
Due to the flooding of the basement and first floor, the electrical system corroded from the saltwater residue. The proposed work will include replacing all electrical wiring, conduits, lighting fixtures, fuses, electromechanical circuit breakers and switchgear. This work is crucial to provide a safe environment at this heavily visited historic site and museum. Originally constructed in 1719, the Fraunces Tavern was the meeting place of legendary patriots such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. In 1783, Washington wished his Continental Officers farewell on the tavern’s second floor.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Stained Glass Window Repair - $41,580
Due to the destructive high winds from Sandy, one of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church’s most prominent stained glass windows, entitled “Jesus Feeding the 5,000,” was badly damaged. The church will restore the stained glass window composed of thousands of small, hand-painted pieces back to its original appearance. Founded in 1829, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Harlem, is the oldest African American congregation in Harlem.
Windsor Towers Landscape Restoration - $55,640
Tudor City Greens, Inc. will be reimbursed for restoration work in the heavily visited landmarked city park following the storm. The restoration work included removing damaged mature trees, wood cutting and hauling, planting new trees, replacing the gravel path, relaying damaged cobblestones and replacing several sections of custom wrought iron fencing.
Castle Gould Restoration Work - $378,000
During Sandy, high winds caused heavy cornice stone to dislodge from the north main entrance onto the walkway. The grant will reimburse Nassau County for work to anchor and stabilize the dislodged stones back into their preexisting location. As a mitigation measure, stones that appeared compromised and appeared as a potential danger of dislodging were anchored and stabilized.
Jones Beach State Park West Mall Concession Structural Repairs - $322,500
Standing seawater from Hurricane Sandy corroded the column bases and some structural beams and joists on the West Mall concession at Jones Beach State Park. The Park will remove and replace the structural beams. Established in 1929, Jones Beach State Park attracts six million visitors annually.
Old Westbury Gardens - Restoration of South Allee - $443,326
Old Westbury Gardens will continue the restoration of three-tiered plantings of hemlock hedge, flowering dogwoods and mature Lindens that create the South Allee - a 1,000-linear foot axis “corridor” at the center of the estate. The South Allee suffered severe wind and saltwater damage in the storm. Built in 1905, Old Westbury Gardens is a premier example of a Long Island “Gold Coast” country estate, and attracts 75,000 visitors a year.
Saddle Rock Grist Mill Structural Assessment - $17,580
Nassau County will conduct an engineering study on the structural integrity of the Saddle Rock Grist Mill in Great Neck after the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Until the building can be restored, public access is prohibited due to public health concerns. The Grist Mill, originally constructed circa 1700, serves the public an educational tool and is one of the last tidal powered mills.
Basketmaker’s House Restoration - $88,500
The Staten Island Historical Society will repair the first floor of the Basketmaker’s House, including the outside porch and inside drain due to damage from Sandy. Built in 1810, the Basketmaker’s House is visited by approximately 20,000 school children every year as it hosts many educational programs and public events.
Louis A. and Laura Stirn House (Casa Belvedere) - $783,809
Heavy winds from Sandy caused tree damage to the roof and windows of the 1908, National Register-listed Louis A. and Laura Stirn House where Casa Belvedere, the Italian Cultural Foundation is located. Other damaged areas to house include the ceiling, walls, floors foundation and its mechanical systems. Casa Belvedere will use the funds to repair the severely damaged house.
Oak Beach Community Center Repair and Restoration - $132,238
The Town of Babylon will repair the Oak Beach Community Center, a former historic Lifesaving Station associated with Long Island’s maritime history. Flood waters penetrated and lifted the structure off its foundation. The proposed exterior work will include repair to the roof, chimney, windows and siding. Interior work will include first floor insulation, plumbing upgrades, well pump and piping replacement, and a new HVAC system to properly control the climate to protect documents.
Taylor’s Island South Seawall Replacement Project - $350,000
Taylor’s Island serves the public as an outdoor recreational and educational attraction for hikers, swimmers and boaters. Taylor’s Island and its seawalls help protect the National Register-listed Smith-Taylor Cabin. During Hurricane Sandy, water came over the south concrete seawall to within 20 feet of the cabin. The Town of Shelter Island is proposing to design and install a new natural boulder seawall that is capable of withstanding expected tidal surge and wave action.
Jay Heritage Center - Palmer Tennis House Rehabilitation - $391,056
The Palmer Tennis House, the third oldest indoor tennis court in the United States, experienced roof damage during Hurricane Sandy. The Jay Heritage Center will stabilize and restore the wood truss system and copper trimmed skylights, as well as the stone foundation and clapboard siding. Improvements to the tennis house, constructed circa 1917, will facilitate historic usage and interpretation.