Monday, September 15, 2008

HAMILTON GRANGE: Restoration Update September 2008

Original Roof Uncovered
The restoration of the Grange includes removing parts of the roof that were
added to the home after its completion in 1802. During the process of
stripping the roof back to expose its finishes and flashings, the historic
architects found evidence of the original 1802 balustrade, or decorative
detailing, that did not match existing photographic images of the home
taken in 1860. Also uncovered during the removal of the sheet metal
cladding of the two faux chimneys on the home were the original roof
shingles, 10" long hand-made pine shingles (see photo below). Both of these
‘discoveries’ will assist the National Park Service as the agency works
with great care and precision to restore Hamilton’s “Sweet Project” to its
former splendor.

Exhibit Design Firm To Seek Community Input
Following the restoration of the Grange, exhibits about the historical
significance and cultural meanings of the Grange and Alexander Hamilton
will be installed in parts of the home’s basement and first floor. To begin
this process, the National Park Service (NPS) will hire an exhibit planning
and design firm through an existing architectural/engineering contract.
The firm that is selected will be required to consult with scholars,
historical architects, NPS exhibit specialists and members of the Harlem
community, to gain an understanding of the diverse themes and stories
associated with the Grange. As an initial step, in a public meeting members
of the community will be asked to provide the designers their perspectives
and opinions. Information will soon be released on how you can participate.

Convent Avenue Sidewalk To Be Replaced & Reopened
The NPS is aware of the safety concerns and inconvenience due to the
continued closure to pedestrian traffic of the west side sidewalk on
Convent Avenue in front of the former Grange site. The NPS’ contractor,
which under their contract controls the property, has submitted permit
requests to the appropriate City of New York authorities seeking approval
to replace the sidewalk. Once the contractor receives the required permits,
they will begin work on the sidewalk within two days and should have it
completed within another three days. We apologize for the inconvenience and
thank the community for their continued patience.

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