Restoration Progress 2021
Casa Belvedere is nearing the end of a 10-year, $6 million adaptive re-use transformation from the former “Roebling-Stirn House” to a public arts and cultural center. As of January 2021, the focus will be on the interior, 5,000 square feet of the mansion’s 2nd and 3rd level. To fund this final phase of restoration and stabilization, the organization is seeking individual donor gifts.
Severe water damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011 & Hurricane Sandy in 2012, necessitated removal of walls, floors and ceiling surfaces revealing water, mold and extensive asbestos infiltration, the latter requiring immediate remediation. Additionally, installing the fire suppression system throughout the house revealed issues with beams, joists and sagging girders that need to be repaired for load bearing structural stability. The original footprint of the upper levels remains in-tact and we are looking forward to bringing many of the original elements back to their 1908 integrity.
2nd/3rd Floor Work To Be Completed
- Structural Repairs
- Installation of 16 Mitsubishi split level HVAC units
- Restore 13 windows and 4 Juliet Balcony Doors, 2nd floor
- Frame, insulate and install dry walls and ceilings
- Install herringbone pattern, wood flooring
- Install three ADA complaint bathrooms
- Install electrical panels and wiring
- Install interior fire-rated stairwell from 2nd to 3rd floor
- Restore and install salvaged interior doors
- Restore and install fireplace mantels
- Supply and install lighting fixtures
- Prime & paint walls, ceilings, molding and trim
- Restore stained glass skylight.
Highlights of Remaining Work Needed
Structural issues on the upper floors have been identified and plans for repair are underway. Heavily damaged roof rafters in two critical areas carrying the tremendous weight of the landmarked Spanish barrel tile roof have been identified. Plans to support the added capacity of the upper floors and correct failing load-bearing walls are being finalized.
Windows & Doors
13 windows, and 4 Juliet balcony French doors have suffered more than 100 years of water damage. These elements are original to the 1908 home. Rather than replacing with new windows, we will restore and repair the original windows and doors. Repairing the wood frames, sashes, and sills will allow sealing and painting to protect from damage and will retain the windows and doors original, over 100 year old character.
Contractors who specialize in period-reproduction flooring will base the design of the upper levels on the existing, original herringbone flooring on the first level of the building.
Balustrades Railing System
During the 1970s, prior to designation as a historic landmark, the home’s original, 1908 concrete balustrade railing system – on the rear porch overlooking the harbor – was replaced with a historically inaccurate concrete block and brick half-wall. This very unattractive half-wall on the home’s primary eastern facade was noticeably degrading the historic style of the home. The current wrought-iron style railing replaced that half wall, but is meant as in-between, temporary railing, while raising funds to bring back the original balustrade railing system.
The NYC Department of Buildings mandates that public institutions have a certain number of visitor parking spots available to accommodate the building’s occupancy. Casa Belvedere is required to have 35 parking spots, specified on the site plan picture below.
Also, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission requires preserving the look and feel of the building’s facade, while also protecting the building’s sprawling frontal “green space.” To achieve these goals, a Presto Geosystems GEOBLOCK® 5150 porous paver system will be installed. This system was determined to be the best solution for our landmarked building and its property.
However, this project’s scope of work is a costly endeavor because it includes leveling the front and side property through extensive excavation; GEOBLOCK 5150 parking pavers with base aggregate and topsoil; both Belgium block and cement parking curbs; landscaping including topsoil, grass seed, and shrubs; irrigation utilizing standard and ball field sprinkler heads; overhead and pathway lighting; and finally, the relocation of telephone lines underground.