During 2012, the Trust has been closing in rapidly on another significant preservation goal―the stabili-zation of the Bannerman Arsenal Complex tower, with expert assistance from our preservation architect, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. (JHPA), and engineer, Old Structures. The tragic, partial collapse of the tower that occurred during the winter of 2009-2010 damaged what is arguably the most striking portion of the Banner-man warehouse complex. Since that time, the Trust has been focused on documenting and preserving the remain-ing walls, even as we launched the approved residence stabilization project. Following the successful comple-tion of the residence stabilization for significantly less than our estimated project budget, the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (Parks) agreed to add the stabilization of the warehouse to the EPF Grant that funded 50% of the residence construction and to extend our timeframe for access to the grant funds. We faced numerous challenges, including the difficulty of raising funds during a very bleak time for the U.S. economy, and a concern that to be able to work safely on or near the walls of the tower would require long-reach cranes stationed on barges with prohibitively high mobilization and equipment costs.
We were very fortunate to receive good news on several fronts this year. JHPA and Old Structures deter-mined that the remaining walls of the tower were stable enough to permit access via vertical climbing tech-niques, which have been used by specialty firms to conduct emergency repairs and survey work on historic buildings. JHPA prepared an emergency stabilization design for the tower that will allow a vertical climbing team to install shoring assemblies, using appropriate safety and personnel protection measures, on the exterior of the building where they will counteract the inward-leaning failure that is threatening the remains of the structure. The costs of this approach will be much less than a stabilization effort performed from a barge-mounted crane, and this project is now within our reach. Parks has approved JHPA’s design and the Trust advertised the work to prospective contractors this month. Pending successful selection of a contractor, stabilization construction will be performed as early in the spring of 2013 as is practical. Parks has been extremely supportive of the Trust’s efforts and extended our grant period through the end of December 2013, maintaining our access to 50% match-ing funds for our second stabilization project. The Trust has been keeping all of our neighbors who were im-pacted by Hurricane Sandy in our thoughts and prayers, and at the same time, we realize that with the extreme weather of the past several years, the time available to us to protect the remaining walls of the tower is extremely limited.
While our plans for stabilization moved forward, we reached out to Choice Words to help us to identify funding sources worth pursuing and to assist the Trust with grant proposal preparation. Our efforts were rewarded when the Trust received the following grants for stabilization in 2012: J.M. Kaplan Foundation—$25,000; National Trust for Historic Preservation―$5,000; The Jane Nuhn Charitable Trust― $20,000 in 2012 and $20,000 in 2013. Additional grants included: The Dyson Foundation for a new Strategic Plan prepared by Fairweather Consultants―$10,000; Chase Community Giving―$10,000; which are positioning us to fund the construction. The EPF Grant requires that we pay 100% of the construction costs up front, and then apply for 50% reimbursement. For the residence project, we were generously supported by M&T Bank, who agreed to loan us 50% of the construction costs pending reimbursement from NYS and thereby created a bridge that al-lowed us to pay our contractor without having to raise 100% of the costs. We’ll be looking for another ‘banking angel’ to help us next year, unless we are fortunate enough to raise all of the funds needed for the construction before we begin. With your continued support, we can raise the funds necessary to stabilize the warehouse tower and demonstrate that it is feasible to preserve the historic and aesthetic resources of Pollepel Island. Your passion and dedication to Bannerman Castle help to keep us working to save the treasures of Pollepel Island! The Trust wishes you a joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with every blessing. Please Consider an End of The Year Tax Deductible Gift to THE BANNERMAN CASTLE TRUST, INC. Please send checks to: THE BANNERMAN CASTLE TRUST, INC., PO Box 843, Glenham, NY 12527-0843. You can donate online by going to our website: www.bannermancastle.org, where you can read the latest issue of The BCT Newsletter, “The Banner.
Leonard Warner President The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc.
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