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May is Museum Month & Restoration Continues at the John R. Park Homestead

Essex– In celebration of Museum Month, Essex Region Conservation is providing an update on the extensive restoration works taking place at the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area. “Restoration of the historic home of John and Amelia Park began late last fall, thanks to the generous donations of many,” explained Kris Ives, Curator/Education Coordinator. “The most urgent priority was to ensure the structural stability of the roof.” The restoration team began by installing sister joists to repair the roof sag caused by historic powder post beetle damage. This significant and delicate work raised the roof by nearly 12 inches in some areas.


Work continued through the winter months to restore the plaster and lathe in the east and west attic annexes, to repair windows in the basement, and more. With the arrival of warmer temperatures, the exterior siding repainting and repairs have begun, and the finishing coats of plaster and lime wash are being applied in the interior of the home. The provincial permit approvals have recently been received to allow the contractors to undertake excavation and waterproofing on the south side of the historic home and replace the iconic lakeside porch.


“This once-in-a-lifetime restoration began following a comprehensive heritage architect’s investigation and detailed report identifying works that needed to be undertaken to ensure the historic home’s long-term sustainability,” added Kevin Money, ERCA’s Director of Conservation Services.


“We are so thankful to the many generous donors and grants that have allowed this work to proceed to date and are now working vigilantly to raise the final $500,000 to allow the restoration to be completed in its entirety,” Money goes on to say. “The additional funds will be used to address foundation issues on the home’s north side, and to restore the structural integrity of the horse barn and other buildings, to complete the restoration to the highest standards.”


The historic home will remain closed until fall, as work continues to restore the south door on the upper elevation, complete exterior painting and repairs, and undertake chimney conservation.


The Essex Region Conservation Authority is a public sector organization established by the Province of Ontario in 1973 and governed by local municipalities. For more than 50 years, it has delivered programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in watersheds in the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region.   

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