Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hamilton Grange Update, March 5th

Dear Friends,

Below is the latest update on the Hamilton Grange move from the National Parks Department:

Hamilton Grange Move Update – March 5, 2008

Work continues in preparation of moving Hamilton Grange National Memorial. Soil has been excavated in St. Nicholas Park and we are now down to the ledge (i.e. bedrock) of where the foundation will be laid. A certain amountof rock will now have to be removed to make way for the subbasement. Beginning today, March 5, or tomorrow, a pneumatic tool will be used tobreak up the rock, which will create some noise. Depending upon how easythe rock breaks up, this process could take anywhere from 3 to 5 days.

We appreciate your patience as we move one step closer to moving the Grange. If you have any questions, please contact the site supervisor, Albert Atchison, at 212-666-1640.


Nick said...

Great News! Has anyone gotten any progress reports on the placement of the house? All of the research I have done shows the front porch facing southwest!
It would be a sad day if they swivel the house in the wrong direction!
Any news about this yet? The article in the New York Times was wonderful exposure!
I also updated my Hamilton Grange Web Photo Album at:

Mark D. Levine said...

Despite great protest from the community, the Parks Service is indeed going forward with its (historically inaccurate) plan for the house to face northeast.

The most worrisome thing about the next phase of construction is of course the excavation into the bedrock, which will make a ton of noise for all the neighbors. i wonder what time they will start the work each morning? The City's rules would allow them to begin at 7:00, but that would really be a hardship for the neighborhood.

- Mark Levine, Democratic District Leader

Nick said...

Below is my firey letter to Mr.Albert Atchison:
To Mr.Albert Atchison:
May I impress upon you that Mr. Hamilton's front entryway was facing in a southwesterly direc-tion on its original site.
The complete redirection of his home is historically inaccurate!
I am sorry to say, but it will be the laughingstock of the NPS.
I don't understand why it is gotten into the so-called self-important park custodians that they can just place the house in the wrong direction.
Place the house in the same direction as was planned by Hamilton! and John McComb Jr.!
Considering all of the heaps of neglect that has been put upon Mr. Hamilton's Grange, this is the least bit of accuracy the park and this country owes to one of its founding fathers! And I might add, one of the originators of our Constitution!
His house has sat on a makeshift, neglected site for 100 years, unpainted, falling to rack and ruin, and now the park service wants to heap another indignity on this poor hero's home by not placing his front entryway in the proper direction. This is absolute hubris, indignity and arrogance on the part of the NPS!
Needless to say that it took one hundred years to move it to a park that has been around the cor-ner for at least the last fifty! Why it couldn't be moved sooner is beyond incredulity!
Nicholas F Matranga

Anonymous said...

If the house kept the original orientation the front would be facing uphill and into a wall - The Grove School of Engineering at City College.

Although I really am a purist at heart, I do think the right decision was made since we want the house to look as wonderful as possible in its new open space.

As for the noise, I hope it is not that loud, but it IS New York and this neighborhood already has its fair share of loud things!

Nick said...

Dear Anonymous:
I visited the site yesterday and noticed that the rise in the hillside makes the area very limited for placing a large-sized square box on it! I noticed that the rendering by the NPS is showing the back porch facing northwest, which is the correct placement. I can see how the main entry porch will not be facing the busy intersection below if the NPS faces it southwest, but I think that it is just a minor issue! With the correct landscaping, and enhancements, anything can be done to enhance the front entrance which would be facing the wall of the College (for instance, the NPS can pull the Grange forward towards the intersection, to get more room between the house and the ugly college wall!
The Park Service may have made the correct decision! It's unfortunate, but ultimately it may be the best decision.
I have attached some pictures of the excavation which are attached!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the NPS plan. I too just visited the site and it would seem ridiculous to have the front of the house facing that large building (is that City College?).

Anyway, I think once it is done it will be nice for the house to have some elbow room. I hear also that the porches will finally be restored to its original detail.