Historic Preservation: A Never-Ending Challenge
At the Preservation Society, six large, complicated jobs will be undertaken over the next 24 months, with an estimated cost of over $4 million. Generous support from individuals, foundations and corporations has helped to get these projects off the ground, but we still need to raise another $2.6 million in order to complete them.
The six capital priorities are:
- Creation of a new exit for The Breakers
- Revival of the Serpentine Path at The Breakers
- Restoration of the entire roof at Marble House
- Restoration of the flat roof at The Elms
- Restoration of a portion of the balustrade at Rosecliff
- Restoration of the windows and doors on the 3rd floor of The Breakers
The Breakers Exit (Goal: $450,000)
This is part of The Breakers Landscape Revival. Currently, visitors leave via the store in the basement and find themselves in the laundry circle, from which a dilapidated staircase leads them up to ground level. This project will focus on constructing an attractive, safe and ADA-compliant way for visitors to exit up the rehabilitated service driveway. The laundry circle will be furnished so guests can sit and rest after their tour of The Breakers.
The Serpentine Path (Goal: $1.17 million)
Reviving the entire 13-acre landscape at The Breakers is a huge, costly effort, requiring a phased approach. The Serpentine Path, (Phase 1) is fully funded and will rehabilitate the path and gardens from the North Entrance Drive to the Roman Wellhead south of the Vanderbilt Gates. When funds are raised, Phase 2 will address the Serpentine Path south to The Cliff Walk.
The Marble House Roof (Goal: $1.5 million)
The roof at Marble House has deteriorated over the years, and major repairs are now necessary. Leaks put at risk the extravagant 22-karat “Gold Ballroom,” carved figures from Greek and Roman mythology, and a ceiling inspired by the Queen’s Bedroom at Versailles.
The Elms Roof (Goal: $450,000)
The flat roof over the servant quarters at The Elms was last replaced in the 1980s and is failing. It will be restored with the latest materials, replace copper gutters, downspouts and soffits, add new flashing and skylights, and repair the terra cotta roof deck.
Rosecliff Balustrade (Goal: $350,000)
Inspired by the balustrade of the Grand Trianon of Versailles, this ornate structure hides Rosecliff’s third-floor servant quarters. The inevitable deterioration from years in sea air makes it necessary to repair 312 feet of balustrade along the eastern and southern portions of the building. We have secured a $150,000 grant from the state preservation office, but this must be matched by another $150,000.
Third Floor Window and Door Restoration at The Breakers (Goal: $337,500)
The final important project is the repair and restoration of 60 windows and 18 doors on the upper two floors of the Breakers. Securing these windows and doors benefits the whole building and its collections, and prevents further damage to the interiors of the third floor, an area with a high degree of historic integrity and beauty.
Your support for any one of these projects would be greatly appreciated.
If you would like additional information or have any questions, please contact:
Tara Flynn, director of development
401.847.1000 ext. 191
Anne Garnett, senior advisor
401.847.1000 ext. 156