Exterior restoration and accessibility improvements are coming to the Morris-Jumel Mansion

In July 2023, the Morris-Jumel Mansion held its annual George Washington Dinner. This fundraiser raised awareness about the upcoming capital improvement project. Click here to see keynote presentation materials from the project’s lead architect, Page Ayres Cowley.

In December 2023, MJM held a Virtual Parlor Chat featuring representatives from the restoration and accessibility project to provide updates, and answer questions from the community. Click here to watch a recording of the program.

Details about the capital improvement project are at the bottom of this page.

 

What does the pending capital project hope to accomplish? The upcoming project will address areas of deterioration on the building’s exterior, roof restoration, and will provide landscape improvements and universal access to the first floor of the museum including ADA-compliant entry on the east side of the Mansion and restroom facilities.

What is the timeline for the whole project? Phase I (Design) of the project is complete, with of a set of master plans for restoration and barrier-free access. Bidding and scheduling are next. Phase II (Construction) is expected to begin in mid-2024 after a contractor has been selected and approved by the City.

Where did funding come from for this project? The original 2.7M for this project was provided by former elected officials: Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Members Robert Jackson and Ydanis Rodriguez, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and continues with additional support necessary from Mayor Eric L. Adams, City Council, Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

Who is doing this work? Work is being completed by the Historic House Trust of NYC through a contract with Page Ayres Cowley Architecture, LLC and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Our city partners, the Historic House Trust, have a sole-source agreement with the the City of New York which allows them to manage capital projects at their 23 sites, which includes Morris-Jumel Mansion. More about this process is outlined in this short video.

The outside of the Mansion is in bad shape, but the inside of the museum looks well preserved and taken care of. What’s the difference? The park and building is owned and maintained the NYC Parks & Recreation with support from the Historic House Trust of NYC; any exterior work must be approved and completed by these organizations. Morris-Jumel Mansion, Inc. (MJM), the non-profit partner that runs programs and operations at the museum, has a license agreement with the city to operate inside the city-owned building. Over the past few years, MJM has embarked on plans to renovate the historic interiors of the museum, which includes 9 period rooms and two gallery spaces. The museum is also doing work to expand its interpretation of the historic site and the former estate grounds through various grant-funded initiatives to bring the stories of Indigenous persons, women, immigrants, Black Americans, and Dominican Americans to light. These groups contributed to the history, preservation, and legacy of the landmarked building, the grounds, and surrounding property.

How can I learn more about this project? Please check out this press release, view the presentation from the recent Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing, or contact the Historic House Trust of NYC directly.

How can I stay up-to-date about the capital project? Sign up for our mailing list below:

 

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