The restoration of Buccleuch Mansion has begun!
The Jersey Blue Curator Committee has been busy with the revival of Buccleuch Mansion. From meetings with architects, builders and the City of New Brunswick, we are set to finalize the plans for the renovations, restoration and stabilizing of our grand old house.
With construction to begin about mid-August, several Jersey Blue Chapter members, family members and spouses have been instrumental in helping pack items, empty closets, remove drapes, take up disintegrating carpet pads, clean fallen plaster debris and much more in preparation for the builders to start. Here’s what the curator committee has accomplished to date.
1. Removal of old, moldy items.
Over the years, water seeped into the already wet basement, damaging much of the contents within the room. Luckily, none of the museum’s collections were housed there so the damage was controllable. After massive sorting, one truckload (plus some!) of old, moldy items was removed from the basement level of the building.
2. Collections were packed, transported and put into storage.
Many boxes of clothing, chapter files and fragile items were placed into a secure storage unit for preservation, while a moving company packed up and transported the furniture, furnishings and any large-scale items left in the mansion as well as the items loaned to the Cornelius Low House in Piscataway. It took over three moving vans and a crew of six movers to secure and load every item from all three floors. On the day the third floor (containing the attic and children’s nursery) was packed, temperatures soared to over 90 degrees!
3. The house was given a massive cleaning.
Once the mansion was emptied, the curator committee and a crew of Jersey Blue volunteers set upon the house to vacuum every room, hallway and set of stairs (including the secret ones!) as well as wipe down the window sills, baseboards and chair rails. Every closet was cleaned out and vacuumed.
Come mid-year 2018, Jersey Blue will plan a grand reopening/open house celebration and event to announce the completion of this massive undertaking, pending construction schedules. Once the 2017-2018 renovation is complete, Buccleuch Mansion will have another 25-30 years before it will need another project of this scope!
Written by Susan Luczu
Susan Luczu has been a member of the Jersey Blue Chapter since 2009 and serves as the director of Buccleuch Mansion, chapter corresponding secretary, publicity and media specialist, DAR Good Citizens program committee chair, and chapter programming committee member as well as NJDAR central district director. She is a third great-granddaughter of Joseph Mishler, a private in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania militia during the Revolutionary War.
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