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Oyster Bay- Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (NHS) announces the kick-off of $775,000 in historic preservation and site enhancements this fall in the National Park Service’s on-going effort to protect and preserve the site’s historical resources and enhance the visitor experience. The work consists of three discreet projects: 1. Carriage Road stone wall restoration and preservation project; 2. Road and Visitor pathway paving project; 3. Historic Outbuilding preservation and re-roofing project.
Sagamore Hill NHS competed nationally with other National Park Service units for the funding for these projects. Federal Highway Administration funding is paying for the majority of paving work at the site. These projects support the goals of the recently approved (March 2008) General Management Plan, a legal document which guides the site’s development over the next 20 years.
1. Carriage Road stone wall restoration and preservation project is a two step project to preserve the historic dry stone masonry retaining wall along the historic carriage road driveway that leads to the Roosevelt home. Over the years, tree roots have begun to loosen the stones and move the wall causing stones to frequently topple out of place. The first step of the project required the removal of trees and grinding of stumps and roots to create a 10-15 foot tree-free zone to protect the wall from future tree root damage. Step two is the careful removal of stones from the historic wall sections in need of restoration and then the re-placement of these stones at the appropriate vertical angle and in their original locations.
The tree removal work was undertaken by Organically Green Tree Experts out of Nesconset, New York. The historic wall restoration work has been contracted with the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC), Preservation Masonry Team out of Frederick, Maryland. The HPTC trains NPS Maintenance professionals in a variety of preservation trades including carpentry and masonry and they also have preservation teams which work across the country at NPS units on specialized projects. This project will be completed by mid September 2008.
2. Road and Visitor Pathways Paving Project will result in the repaving of approximately 40% of the site’s roadways and walkways. This project comes on the heels of the fall 2007 main visitor parking lot paving and enhancement project at the site. One historic preservation aspect of the project is the uncovering and restoration of the original red brick drive at the Roosevelt’s home entry. The driveway, in a herring bone pattern, will be restored to historic standards. The paving work has been contracted with Taru Associates Corp. of North Merrick, NY. The project is anticipated to be completed by mid October 2008.
3. Outbuilding preservation and re-roofing project will result in the historic preservation of six historic outbuildings (historic maintenance and farm buildings) dating back to the time of the Roosevelt family. The work will consist of exterior fabric repair and restoration, window re-glazing and repair, door restoration and replacement, exterior painting and historic roof replacement. The work will commence in September and is anticipated to be completed by the end of the year. The work is being undertaken by Ashnu International, Inc. of New York, NY.
All of the preservation work will meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Preservation and Rehabilitation of Historic Structures. The site will remain open during construction and we anticipate only minor inconveniences for the visiting public. We hope to have the majority of the work completed ahead of Theodore Roosevelt’s 150th Birthday Celebration weekend October 25-27. Sagamore Hill will be hosting a free Family Festival on Sunday, October 26 and a Birthday Celebration for TR on Monday, October 27.
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, located at 20 Sagamore Hill Road, Oyster Bay, New York, is a unit of the National Park Service. The site was established by Congress in 1962 to preserve and interpret the structures, landscape, collections and other cultural resources associated with Theodore Roosevelt’s home in Oyster Bay, New York, to ensure that future generations understand and appreciate the life and legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, his family and the significant events associated with him.
Sagamore Hill NHS is currently on its off-season schedule, Labor Day through Memorial Day, open Wednesday through Sunday from 9AM-5PM for Ranger or volunteer lead tours of the Roosevelt Home and admission to the Old Orchard Museum. Tours of the Roosevelt home carry an admission fee of $5.00 per person (children 15 years old and younger are admitted free) which can be obtained at the visitor center. The Old Orchard Museum and all other site facilities are free to the public. The public is welcome to walk the grounds and nature trails of the site 7 days per week from dawn to dusk.