68 windows in the historic mansion will be repaired and replaced
Rochester, N.Y., January 4, 2017—The George Eastman Museum has received a grant of $468,881 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, via the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, to continue its ongoing restoration of George Eastman’s mansion, a National Historic Landmark.
“The George Eastman Museum is a source of real pride for Rochester and for the entire Finger Lakes region,” said Vinnie Esposito, Executive Director, Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC). “The FLREDC is proud to facilitate the funding needed to take care of the historic home of the man whose innovative mind help to build Rochester. This funding will ensure that the museum will be able to continue its ongoing preservation efforts.”
This grant funding will be used to address the urgently needed repair and restoration of 68 windows in the historic mansion. These windows are original to the house and were installed between 1903 and 1905. More than a century of severe weather has compromised their functionality and their ability to protect the interior and structural integrity of the mansion. Customized, properly fitted, preservation-approved storm windows will also be installed to improve energy efficiency while preserving the historic elements and appearance of the property. In addition, 44 sets of window shutters will also be restored.
“This substantial grant award from New York State will help ensure that George Eastman’s historic mansion will be appropriately preserved and enjoyed by visitors to the Finger Lakes region for decades to come,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum. “The total window restoration project cost is estimated to be nearly $700,000, and the museum has funded the remaining cost of this project with generous contributions from private donors, including Georgia Potter Gosnell and the Davenport-Hatch Foundation.”
A series of major restoration projects started three years ago, when Bero Architecture PLLC conducted a site condition survey of George Eastman’s historic residence. The survey was funded by a grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation through Title 9 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1993 and the FLREDC. The survey identified urgent and necessary restoration and repairs of various areas of the historic house and garden structures, with an estimated total cost of $3.5 million.
In 2014, the George Eastman Museum received grant funding of $500,000 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to support restoration of the mansion’s East Porch and Colonnade. This project is currently underway and will continue through 2017. So far, the Eastman Museum has raised more than $1.4 million in private funding to support these restoration efforts, which will preserve the historic mansion and ensure that all areas remain safe and publicly accessible.
In 1966, George Eastman’s historic home became one of only two National Historic Landmarks in Rochester. In 1990, the mansion reopened to the public following a major restoration of the first floor to return it to how it looked during Eastman’s lifetime. The mansion is a major cultural attraction and tourist destination; more than 65 percent of visitors to the museum travel from outside the region, from across the United States and around the world.
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