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The historic Ellis House (masthead) is home of the Scituate Arts Association as well as host of classes and artist studios. Here (above left) we see the entrance as painted back in the nineties, while on the (above right) the photo shows the Ellis in its original splendor surrounded by sheep grazing fields.

The Ellis House is a grand old home with spacious rooms and lovely surroundings conducive to creative pursuits. Funds are provided for the site by revenue from the many artists’ studios, art classes, workshops, sales, membership fees, and donations for the purposes of restoration of this grand historic classic.

The Scituate Arts Association is proud to be the stwards of this historic piece of scituate history. we continue to improve, upgrade, restore and refurbish this historical classic.

Below You can follow a number of the updates as originally reported in our newsletters on the progress of the Ellis.

 

October 2009

North Side Paint-a-Thon Weekend, October 3&4
National Historic Registration Application & Updates
on Buy-a-Brick and Furnace Fund


We are organizing a Paint-a-Thon.  Plans are in the works for the weekend of October 3 &4 to gather a crew of semi-professional painters with ladders.  We’ll provide paint, brushes, food & drink and helper bees.  What is important is the back of the Ellis which was primed and prepped in the days of the Plymouth County Prison Works program but never sealed with actual paint.  If need be we’ll do a side or a part of a side of the building every year until it’s done and focus grant monies on repairs, roofing, weatherization and septic systems.
CONTACT JCORNACCH@aol.com to volunteer. 

On the chimney front, the Buy-a-Brick Campaign has raised sufficient bricks to repair one chimney (slightly over $5000).  The SAA Board has voted to solicit bids for this repair.  In the meantime please continue to send in you brick dollars ($7.50/brick) as still have 3 chimneys remaining and are a little short for this one.  Our new furnace and the fortunate (for all) albeit temporary drop in oil prices made for a warm and far less expensive than anticipated heating system.  We do have 3-4 years of payments on the system to go plus an aging tank and burner on the caretaker’s apartment to boot.  Lastly, we will continue to chip away at the leaky windows of the Ellis, painting, repairing and adding storms to several every year.  Our plan is to place storms on the remaining SAA studio and possibly the north studio within our suite as well! 
We have begun the process of securing a grantwriter to develop our application for National Registration using the funding awarded to us by the Community Preservation Commission’.  In today’s harsh economic times the voted only to fund our application for entry into the National Register of Historic Places which is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resource.  The Ellis has been deemed potentially worthy of registration and registration supports the Ellis worthiness for grants and other funding.  


In July we met with CPC circuit rider Dorr Fox who suggested several avenues for grants to pursue. The plans for restoration have been developed and we will continue to move forward as rapidly as funding allows. If anyone has grant writing experience, let us know, as that process will begin shortly with or without a completed National Registration! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our initial painting started in late 2008 with the painting of the north face. We were fortunate that one of the porchs still had traces of the original color combination. On the right photo you will observe the new application of historically accurate (original) color.

 

  October 2011

ELLIS HOUSE UPDATED PRESERVATION PLAN UNDERWAY

PAINT-A-THON DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
Donations need for repair work on the Ellis Front.

Preservation specialist Wendy Frontiero has begun her assessment of the needs and priorities of Ellis and we should have our Update Preservation Plan in hand sometime this Fall.  The SAA Board has just approved funding for phase one repairs to the front façade of the house.  We hope to have the Caretaker’s section of the house repaired and painted this Fall.  Plans are underway to request grants from the CPC and Mass Historic to complete this project.  Another need that can’t wait is the replacement of the oil burner for the Caretaker’s apartment.  We plan to finance this expense by a grant from the Mass Arts Council and a “Point of Sales” Campaign at some local markets (details to follow).  We also will be applying storms to the remaining windows on the first floor.
Once the repairs to the front clapboards are in place on the front of the Ellis we’ll need your help painting!  Look for a call to a Paint-a-thon  early this Fall.


Donations to the Ellis Restoration may be directed to the Scituate Arts Association, PO Box 214, Scituate, MA 02066.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the left, the Elllis was its own "Spooky World. Support from membership and many of the events sponsored by SAA meant a go ahead in restoration. Numerous repairs were made to the gutters, chimnies, roof, clapboards, and finally painting was undertaken.

 

January 2012

SCITUATE ARTS ASSOCIATION:
ELLIS HOUSE RESTORATION
UPDATED PRESERVATION PLAN SPURS 2012 CPC FUNDING REQUEST
Donations Needed For Restoration & Painting Of The Ellis Front Side.

Scituate Arts Association received Preservation Specialist Wendy Frontiero’s findings on the needs and priorities of the Ellis House in October.  She determined that first and foremost is the need to complete the process of tightening the building against the elements.  The simplest and most immediate task is to restore the front face of the house so that it can be painted and sealed against the elements.  The replacing of  tired worn clapboards and any underlying damage will then allow the SAA to return historic colors to the fourth and final side as well as protect the house from wind and water.  Ms Frontiero was selected to file the Scituate Historic Commission’s National Register Application which was completed this May and supported by Scituate’s Community Preservation Fund.  The Ellis House Updated Preservation Plan was supported by funding from three sources—the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Massachusetts and the Scituate CPC Fund. 
As a result of Wendy’s findings, the SAA’s Board approved funding for phase one restoration of the front façade of the house.  That work is now in process.   The Caretaker’s section of the house has been restored and primed.  The SAA has applied for 2012 support from the CPC to complete the restoration of the remaining two sections of the front façade (main house and the center gable end section) and replace the flat roofs of the front bays and dining room porch.  Another need that can’t wait is the replacement of the oil burner for the Caretaker’s apartment.  The SAA plans to finance this expense by a grant from the Mass Arts Council and a local fund raising campaign.  In addition, based on Ms Frontiero’s report the SAA will be seeking 2013 funding from the Mass Historical Commission to address roof drainage and ventilation (a complex issues if you are familiar with all the peaks and valleys of the Ellis!) along with a variety of related issues to further tighten the historic house from the elements.  Matching grants and funds will be required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the backside nearing completion, the tower becomes the next target of restoration.

June 2011

ELLIS HOUSE RESTORATION
GRANTED CPC FUNDS FOR ELLIS FAÇADE RESTORATION
Donations Needed For Restoration & Painting Of The Ellis Front Side.

Scituate’s town meeting has just passed a Community Preservation Funding to aid the Scituate Arts Association in the restoration of the front façade of the Ellis House and in the replacement of the flat roofs of the front bays and dining room porch.  The replacing of  tired worn clapboards and any underlying damage will allow the SAA to return historic colors to the fourth and final side as well as protect the house from wind and water.  The SAA’s Board approved funding for and completed phase one restoration of the front façade of the house in Fall 2011.
This project to restore the front face of the house is the simplest and most immediate step in the weatherization or tightening the building against the elements. Water infiltration whether by rain, snow, ground water or high humidity is perhaps the great threat to the stability of any historic property.   Also on the horizon for the Ellis is the much needed replacement of the oil burner for the Caretaker’s apartment.  The SAA hopes to finance this expense by a grant from the Mass Arts Council and a local fund raising campaign.  In addition, based on Ms Frontiero’s report the SAA will be seeking 2013 funding from the Mass Historical Commission to address roof drainage and ventilation (a complex issues if you are familiar with all the peaks and vallerys of the Ellis!) along with a variety of related issues to further tighten the historic house from the elements.  Matching grants and funds will be required.

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The "caretakers" side demanded many new window repairs and storm windows were installe throughout the structure. Eave and clapboard work were completed as well, and with the diligence of the hard work of Don Burris, many of these repairs were made... as well as painting!

 

October 2012

Thanks to the generous support Scituate’s Community Preservation Fund we have completed restoration of the front façade of the Ellis House and  replacement of the flat roofs of the front bays and dining room porch.  Victor LoPiccolo who climbed all over the peaks two years ago painting the deeps eaves and gables of the rear returned to paint the upper story of the front and southeast end.  We hope to have the entire house other than the tower returned to historic colors by the end of summer.


Now that all for vertical sides are repaired, caulked and painted (almost…) and most of the windows are covered by storm windows we are  close to completion of the simplest and most immediate step in the weatherization or tightening of the building against the elements. Pl

us we expect to have the much needed replacement of the oil burner for the Caretaker’s apartment in place by Fall.  
Water infiltration whether by rain, snow, ground water or high humidity is perhaps the great threat to the stability of any historic property.  So we recently applied for and received a Favrot Fund grant from the National Historic Trust.  That grant plus our matching share will finance the Bailey-Ellis House Roof and Site Drainage Improvement Project.  Strekalovsky Associates of Hingham will be working on engineering and site work  to determine how to best keep water away from the foundation and to move water off the roof and away from the house as rapidly as possible.  We will then use the results of this study to apply to the Mass Historical Commission and the Community Preservation Commission to put Strekalovy’s recommendations in place.  Matching grants and funds will be required.  We are also in the process of developing an Endowment Fund for the Ellis and the SAA

 

Looking Good!

January 2013


The Ellis Painting Project is Complete!

Funding approved by Scituate’s Community Preservation has allowed us to complete the restoration of the front façade of the Ellis House and  replacement of the flat roofs of the front bays and dining room porch. And as hoped the entire house other than the tower has been returned to historic colors.  Furthermore, the much needed replacement of the oil burner for the Caretaker’s apartment is now in place for Winter 2013.  


Water infiltration whether by rain, snow, ground water or high humidity is perhaps the great threat to the stability of any historic property and work on our Favrot Fund grant from the National Historic Trust continues.  TheBailey-Ellis House Roof and Site Drainage Improvement Project administered by Strekalovsky Associates of Hingham has already brought in engineering designs for exterior drainage improvements and recently consulted with basement technology specialists to deal with the constant water flow that is inevitable with any stone foundation.  We should be moving on to remediation of a water off the roof and away from the house as rapidly as possible in the near future.  We will then use the results of this study to apply to the Mass Historical Commission and the Community Preservation Commission to put Strekalovy’s recommendations in place.  Matching grants and funds will be required.  We are also in the process of developing an Endowment Fund for the Ellis and the SAA.  

 

June 2013

As reported last spring,  Community Preservation Funding allowed us to restored the front façade of the Ellis House and then complete the process of returning the house to its historic colors.  Our numerous visitors have all remarked on how wonderful it looks!


 In June 2013 we received a Favrot Grant from the National Historic Trust for the Ellis House Roof and Site Drainage Improvement Project. Since early fall, we have been working with Strekalovsky Associates’ Mark Coughlin on identifying ways to prevent water infiltration in  the Ellis.  With our newly received final report , the SAA now has specific recommendations and cost estimates to use in filing for assistance from the Mass Historical Commission, Mass Cultural Facilities Fund and the Community Preservation Fund. Specific recommendations include a drainage system to divert water away from the foundation running along the driveway, improved  perimeter drainage at the front taking all downspout water away from the house accompanied  by regrading the exterior landscape, interior perimeter drainage with an accompaynying sump pump & dehumidification system and lastly n upgraded gutters system and a new architectural style roof shingle system. 


Grant raising on this project will take us until next Spring.  Part of this effort will be to create an SAA Endowment Fund to assure that the work done in the past few years and planned for the immediate future can be maintained by the generations to come.

 

January 2014

Last fall, we presented a special challenge for our Annual Appeal: Raise $4000 in matching funds! The National Trust for Historic Preservation has approved a grant for $4,920 to support the Bailey-Ellis House Window Preservation Plan Project. To date, we've received approximately half the funds we need to raise. If you were considering donating but didn't, please do so now.


Here is where those monies will be designated:
The Bailey-Ellis House Window Preservation Plan is the third SAA grant funded in part by the NTHP! Wendy Frontiero, the preservation specialist who prepared both our application for placement on the National Register for Historic Places and who wrote our recent Bailey Ellis Conditions Assessment, will be investigating the condition of the window sashes and interior window trims at the Bailey-Ellis House and making recommendations for preservation and restoration of this key element of the building's design. The results of this study will then be used to request funding for window restoration including those in the tower. This is the first step towards systematic restoration of the interior of the Ellis.


On January 7th, Board members Don Burris, Robin Glazier and Janet Cornacchio presented the 2014 SAA funding request for the Ellis House Roof And Site Drainage Improvement Project to the CPC (Community Preservation Commission). Mark Coughlin of Strekalovsky Architects offered a highly effective power point illustration of the progress made on Ellis Restoration since 2008 and illustrated the moisture issues that Strekalovsky Architects recommendations plan to resolve. Specifically, roofing, gutters and downspouts, French drains, dehumidification systems and grading around the perimeter of the house are some of the changes that will help secure the Ellis House envelope against the elements.


Last, if you haven't taken a drive up to the Ellis lately, do so on a warm winter's day. You will be rewarded with a splendid sight: the tower newly secured and painted in historic colors. New roofing and further restoration of the windows remains to be done, but the tower is now secured until then.

April 2014

Ellis House Roof And Site Drainage Improvement Project !
Accepted at Scituate Town Meeting, April 14.

140 years ago, two prominent Scituate families built and lived in the Bailey-Ellis House, which still stands today.  On April 14th, the SAA requested & received a $79,000 in CPC funds to support the "Bailey-Ellis Roof & Drainage Improvement Project." These funds will be directed towards a host of preservation recommendations that will help secure the Ellis House envelope against the elements including roofing, gutters and downspouts, French drains, dehumidification systems and grading around the perimeter of the house and drive. We look forward to partnering with Strekalovsky Architects to bring these carefully planned changes into reality. These funds will be available with the start of fiscal 2015 on July 1, 2014. Meanwhile, in March an application was made to the Massachusetts Cultural Council Facilities Fund (MCCFF) for a grant which would match the CPC Fund. If this grant is awarded the SAA will be able to bring accessibility to the Ellis.


And in April work began on the Bailey-Ellis House Window Preservation Plan. This is the third SAA grant funded in part by the NTHP! Wendy Frontiero, the preservation specialist who prepared both our application for placement on the National Register for Historic Places and who wrote our recent Bailey Ellis Conditions Assessment, will be investigating the condition of the window sashes and interior window trims at the Bailey-Ellis House and making recommendations for preservation and restoration of this key element of the building's design. The results of this study will then be used to request funding for window restoration including those in the tower. This is the first step towards systematic restoration of the interior of the Ellis.And the Ellis being a bit of a contrary mistress, has presented us with a sagging beam in the dining room, one of the SAA's suite rooms. That will need attention—shoring, a fletch plate to reinforce the beam and replastering to replace walls & ceiling that will be opened to do the necessary work. This will require additional expense that wasn't in the budget.

If you would like to support the Ellis Restoration please direct your donations tothe Scituate Arts Association, PO Box 214, Scituate, MA 02066. 

 

 

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