Complete urgently necessary structural repairs to roof rafters, joists, and sagging load-bearing headers. 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.
Second and Third Floor Restoration
The focus will shift from our completed exterior restoration to the interior 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 priority. Additionally, years of extensive water damage have 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 on the upgrade of utilities, HVAC installation, and extensive carpentry work needed to bring back the stately grandeur of the Roebling-Stirn Mansion. Stay tuned ….
NYC DOB mandates that public institutions have a certain number of visitor parking spots available to accommodate the occupancy of the building. Casa Belvedere is required to have 35 parking spots, location of the spots specified on the site plan picture below. Also, 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 as it includes leveling the front and side property, installing sprinkler system, pourous installation and lighting.
Elevator Stair Tower • August 2019 – Present
The elevator/stair tower project is in the last phase of construction. Despite challenges from Mother Nature, a COVID-19 stop-work period, and a couple of unexpected hurdles along the way, the scheduled completion date is February 1, 2021! Not exactly restoration but more like a bridge to our final interior restoration project, 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.
Exterior Painting • March 2020 – September 2020
When Founding Charter Member Sal Matiolli heard we were planning to restore our mansion’s exterior, he simply asked, “How can I help?” The result: Sal and his company, Wall Systems Supply, generously donated specialty elastomeric paint and primer for the entire building. Trabisco Painters was then hired to meticulously “paint” life back to our exterior. Owner Richie Trabisco was so proud and honored to have worked on our landmarked mansion that he joined our cause by becoming a Belvedere Circle Member. Historical photographs from the Stirn-Roebling family photo albums were used to return the mansion to its original color scheme. Casa Belvedere now looks as it did when Louis A. and Laura Stirn finished building their home in 1908.
Solarium Restoration Complete • August 2020
Failures of the original Yankee gutter system and the waterproofing of the outer roof-ledge of the solarium has allowed water penetration to damage both the interior of the Verrazzano Room and the exterior trellis woodwork. Modern fiberglass was used to replace the outer roof’s 1908 original canvas/tar material. The rotted exterior trellis woodwork was replaced. Larger new copper gutter materials were installed to accommodate heavy downpours.
Exterior Woodwork Repair • March 2020 – August 2020
Master Carpenter/Founding Charter Member Bob Kunz has worked diligently to complete the replacement of rotted wood. His skilled craftsmanship paved the way for roofers and painters to complete the renovation of our mansion’s exterior surface, bringing it back to its original glory. Years of neglect and the devastating effects of water on unprotected wood have destroyed exterior woodwork throughout portions of the mansion’s facade. Areas of rotted wood have been replaced with an impermeable composite material that will last a lifetime. Bob painstakingly restored the parapet walls located on the front and rear porch, taking care to replicate the exact details of the original woodwork.
Exterior Balconies • November 2019 – January 2020
One of the mansion’s great architectural features is the unique Juliet balconies. The eastern exposure and the harbor’s saltwater wreaked havoc on the two rear balcony’s original wrought-iron structure and decorative florets. These railings were carefully removed and 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.
Patio • June 2019 – July 2019
A new addition to our grounds is an 1,800 square foot patio. Founding Charter 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 complement 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.
Roof • May 2018 – July 2019
Our mansion’s roof has been fully restored thanks to a grant received from the 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 gutters and leaders, new ice/snow guards were installed to protect our investment.