Vcevy Strekalovsky Photo
The Scituate Arts Association will begin the next phase of renovations to the historic Ellis House after receiving a $3,000 grant from the Community Preservation Committee, approved during April’s Town Meeting.
The money will help restore the remaining front façade, allow completion of the restoration of historic colors to the house, and includes clapboard replacement, new roofing on the lower porches, weatherization, and painting.
Although an estimated $6,000 project, the Arts Association will contribute the remaining $3,000 to the cause.
The Association has already put significant money and work into the 1874 building, which is rented to several Art Association members as studio space.
Most recently, the association raised money for and took part in re-roofing, redoing the chimney, repairing interior beams, fixing exterior walls, and repainting three sides of the house
According to Janet Cornacchio, Association president, the Association’s Board also approved funding for and completed phase one of the restoration to the front façade of the house in fall of 2011.
The weatherization of the front of the house will begin shortly, Cornacchio said.
“Water infiltration whether by rain, snow, ground water or high humidity is perhaps the great threat to the stability of any historic property,” she said in an email.
After the weatherization is complete, the Association will for volunteers to help paint the final side with historic colors.
Yet there is still more work that needs to be done, Cornacchio said.
“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,” Cornacchio said.
In addition, based on a Preservation Plan, the group will also be seeking 2013 funding from the Mass Historical Commission to address roof drainage and ventilation - a complex issues with all the peaks and valleys of the Ellis.
The Association will also have to address a variety of related issues to further protect the historic house from the elements. Matching grants and funds will be required to do the work.
As a result, the Association is accepting donations to support renovations.
Donations can be mailed the Scituate Arts Association, PO Box 214, Scituate, MA 02066.
Although the house is getting to a final stopping point in terms of conservation, there is still much to do, Cornacchio said.
“I think we’re getting to the point where we’re securing it for posterity…But I would eventually like the grounds to look good, be more manageable, fit the period better, have better roadway,” she said. “So, yes, we’re definitely getting there in terms of preservation. In terms of restoration, that’s another whole topic.”