Historic Preservation: A Never-Ending Challenge
The Preservation Society is currently managing six major capital endeavors with an estimated cost of over $10 million. We honor our duty to care for each of our historic properties and we are grateful for the generous support from individuals, foundations and corporations that has enabled us to break ground on these projects. To complete these crucial historic renovations we are working to raise additional funds.
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 the roof and balustrade at Rosecliff
- Restoration of the windows and doors on the 3rd floor of The Breakers
UPDATE: Thanks to the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporations two of these six projects are now fully funded.
The Breakers Exit (Goal: $450,000) – FULLY FUNDED
This is part of The Breakers Landscape Revival. Visitors once left via the store in the basement and found themselves in the laundry circle, from which a dilapidated staircase led them up to ground level. Completed in summer 2019, the laundry circle, courtyard and service drive are now fully functional for a year-round visitor experience. The new exit is attractive, safe and ADA-compliant and the laundry circle is beautifully furnished so guests can sit and relax after their tour of The Breakers.
The Elms Roof (Goal: $450,000) – FULLY FUNDED
The flat roof over the servants 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. This project is complete.
Rosecliff Roof and Balustrade (Goal: TBD)
In February of 2019 the Preservation Society commissioned an assessment of the Rosecliff balustrade because it had been exhibiting signs of deterioration. In the process of this assessment, it became clear that the main flat roof and cornice flashing outside the balustrade are integrally connected to the balustrade itself and must be included in the planning of any restoration. With initial grant funding secured from the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, we are actively working to fund this multi-million dollar project.
The Breakers Landscape Revival (Goal: $4 million)
Reviving the entire 13-acre landscape at The Breakers is a huge, costly effort, requiring a phased approach. Phase 1, rehabilitation of the Serpentine Path and gardens from the north entrance drive to the Roman Wellhead south of the Vanderbilt Gates, was completed summer 2019. Phase 2, addressing the Serpentine Path south to The Cliff Walk, will begin in spring 2020.
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.
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