Through a competitive statewide process, the not-for-profit Committee to Save the Bird Homestead was awarded a $250,000 New York State matching grant last week for restoration work at the Meeting House and Bird Homestead.
Through a competitive statewide process, the not-for-profit Committee to Save the Bird Homestead was awarded a $250,000 New York State matching grant last week for restoration work at the Meeting House and Bird Homestead. A Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) was created this year to give access to funding from nine state agencies and 29 existing programs. Awards for CFA projects were based on the endorsement of the Regional Economic Development Council and the technical scoring of various state funding agencies, in this case the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The grant will help fund historically documented wood-shingle roofs for the Bird Homestead’s buildings — the 1835 Greek Revival house, the 19th century barn, and the woodworking shop used by Henry Bird — as well as foundation repairs. The work will also include cedar shingles for the main roof of the Meeting House.
An exciting element will be the reconstruction of the clerestory with awning windows along the top of the Meeting House roof. Currently, only remnants exist. This will restore an important historical feature, while providing natural cooling and ventilation.
“We are thrilled, and we very grateful to the Regional Council and OPRHP,” said a jubilant Anne Stillman, president of the Committee to Save the Bird Homestead. “What a wonderful year it has been for these properties we love,” she added. Stillman, whose field is historic preservation, wrote the grant proposal. Preservation architects Walter Sedovic and Jill Gotthelf developed the budget.
—Photo courtesy of the Rye Historical Society