Restoration in Progress
Elevator Progress Continues
Although you cannot see the progress of the elevation/stair tower behind the safety net, be rest assured construction continues! Interior framing and the installation of the elevator, allowing ADA access to every floor is just about complete. Workers will be focusing on the exterior finishes and roof next. The tentative completion date is December 1, 2020.
Exterior Painting Complete
Trabisco Painters have completed their masterpiece. Richie Trabisco was so proud and honored to have worked on our landmarked mansion that he has become our newest Belvedere Circle Member. Historical photographs from the Stirn-Roebling family photo albums were used to return the mansion to its original color palette.
Solarium Restoration Complete
Failures of the Yankee gutter system and the outer ledge of the solarium have caused water damage to both the interior of the Verrazano Room and the exterior trellis woodwork. Modern fiberglass has replaced the original canvas/tar material used in 1908. Large new copper gutter materials were installed to accommodate large volumes of water.
Structural Repairs In-Progress
Structural issues on the upper floor have been identified and repairs are underway. Heavily damaged roof rafters in two critical areas carrying the tremendous weight of the landmarked Spanish barrel tile roof have been repaired. Plans to support the added capacity and correct failing load-bearing walls are being finalized and repairs are to begin soon.
Exterior Woodwork Repair Complete
Master carpenter/Founding Charter Member, Bob Kunz, has worked diligently to complete the replacement of rotted wood. His skilled work paved the way for roofers and painters, bringing our mansion back to its original glory.
Our Need: Second and Third Floor Restoration
Although there remains plenty of exterior work, focus will somewhat shift to the 6,000 square feet of the mansion’s upper floors. Built in 1908, with very few standard building techniques, some load-bearing walls have failed the test of time and will be our first priority. Additionally, years of extensive water damage has only compounded the structural challenges. With the floors, walls and ceilings ‘stripped down to the studs’, expert structural engineers have identified areas that need Immediate attention, and plans are being developed to execute the significant repairs. Once structural issues are addressed, we will focus our attention to the upgrade of utilities, HVAC installation and extensive carpentry work needed to bring back the stately grandeur of the Roebling-Stirn mansion. Stay tuned……
Our Juliet balconies have been restored to their original beauty! A fiberglass roof has replaced the leaky tarred roof and the restored wrought iron railings are now in place.
The process of hiring a painter is underway. The size of the mansion, its unique woodwork and stucco will be a challenge for the team of painters that will be tackling the job. Some areas will require scrapping 120 years of paint. In the end, Casa Belvedere will look as it did when Louis A. and Laura Stirn finished building their home in 1908.
Elevator Stair Tower
Mother Nature blessed us with a mild winter, but unfortunately the rainy weather has caused extensive delays to the elevator/stair tower’s progress. Iron workers were unable to consistently work towards erecting the steel framework extending the completion date to August 2020. But now with the steel work behind us and the concrete floors/stairs completed, the carpenters are moving at a fast clip, framing the walls and roof. The structure is slowly taking shape, but now you can now envision the size and scope of the project. The roof, windows and doors are next!
Years of neglect and the devastating affects of water on unprotected wood has destroyed exterior woodwork throughout portions of the mansion. With the help of our Belvedere Club member and master carpenter, Bob Kunz, areas of rotted wood have been replaced with impermeable composite material that will last a lifetime. His work includes painstakingly restoring the parapet walls located on the front and rear porch, taking care to replicate the exact details of the original woodwork.
Our mansion’s roof has been fully restored thanks to a grant received from New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. To maintain a historical aesthetic appearance, reclaimed tiles were used throughout the restoration and all flashing and valleys were replaced with new copper! Years of winter storms have not been kind to our gutters… after replacing the gutter and leaders, new ice/snow guards were installed to protect our investment.
A new addition to our grounds is a 1,800 square foot patio. Members Mark D’Andrea, Nick D’Amato and Nick’s sons, Nicholas and Vincent, volunteered their time and equipment to construct this magnificent patio to compliment our breathtaking views. The new space creates an additional outdoor venue for programs and Belvedere Club members can now enjoy an expanded alfresco dining experience.
Elevator Stair Tower
The elevator/stair tower project is well underway.
From a delayed start, to a couple of unexpected hurdles, the team of professionals is pushing ahead with a tentative date of completion, July 2020!
Not exactly restoration, but a bridge to our final interior restoration projects…. Once completed, the new structure will provide an additional entrance to the mansion and allow visitors ADA access to the lower floor as well as the upper second and third floors.
One of the mansion’s great architectural features is the unique Juliet balconies. The eastern exposure and the harbor’s salt water have wrecked havoc on the two rear balcony’s original wrought iron structure and decorative florets. These railings were carefully removed and are currently being restored.