PRESERVATION, RESTORATION, & REHABILITATION

37-01 BOWNE STREET, FLUSHING NY

 

The Bowne House is a wood-framed home, originally dating back to 1661 with multiple additions in the 18th and 19th centuries. The original portion of the house, known today as the Dining Room, was a single room constructed from a bent frame structural system, mud insulation, and horse-hair plaster at the interior. About ten years after the construction of the one-room dwelling, the house was expanded to the west in a similar construction style. Between 1690 and 1763, it is thought that a one story lean-to was constructed along the north side of the house.  In 1845, this lean-to was expanded into a full two-story structure. At the existing interior attic, this change can be seen in the roof rafters where rafters were cut to create a new slope for the extension to the north.

Wood shingles protect the exterior walls and roof of the home. In 2015, an exterior restoration project was completed by DDC addressing many issues of deterioration, damage, and leaking that the structure was exhibiting.

The interior of the house is a combination of wood paneled walls and horse-hair plaster walls and ceilings. Eight fireplaces can be found throughout the house. The is large fireplace in the kitchen, once used for cooking, also contains an early form of an oven.

One of the earliest security systems can be observed in the home as well as early gas lighting, a cistern, and remnants of a personal elevator system.

CTA’s scope of work is mainly focused on the restoration of the interior with some upgrades in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. We will be developing a restoration plan to appropriately repair interior plaster and woodwork, to replicate missing elements such as interior doors, and create an ADA accessible first floor. ADA accessibility also requires exterior landscaping and slight regrading of the site to accommodate this need.

Unique Techniques & Methods:

The greatest care needs to be implemented on this project due to the sensitivity of the existing finishes. CTA promotes a preservation policy of retroaction, meaning that any intervention made to the house should be able to be removed in the future if it is deemed inappropriate. For example, we are designing interior ramps to provide ADA accessibility across the first floor of the house. These ramps will be independent of the historic finishes so that they can be removed, and the space would remain in its historically accurate configuration.

Intricate details will be developed for plaster patching and woodwork repair.

 

Owner Name, Address, Telephone Number, and Email: City owned property, operated by the Bowne House Historical Society

Estimated Budget: $3.368M