Results from Adventures in Preservation Summer Projects Exceed Expectations due to Efforts of Enthusiastic Volunteers

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Results from Adventures in Preservation’s summer projects in Gloucester, Virginia, and the Bronx, New York, show that volunteer efforts exceeded all expectations and highlight the value volunteers bring to historic preservation projects.

Adventures in Preservation volunteers plaster historic station for adaptive reuse

Adventures in Preservation volunteers are set to re-plaster interior of Edge Hill Station

We … were able to put our new skills to work helping the station look better than ever before!

Equal parts fun and hard work proved the perfect formula for success at Adventures in Preservation volunteer vacations this summer in Virginia and New York. Volunteers in Gloucester, Virginia, completed interior plastering for the adaptive re-use of a 1930s Texaco station, while volunteers at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx completely restored the historic wooden shutters in the Lannuier bedroom.

In Virginia, seven volunteers gave their time and energy to complete interior plastering in four rooms of the 1930s Edge Hill Service Station during the last week in August. When restoration is completed, this historic icon will serve as a preservation resource center for the greater Gloucester community.

Under the tutelage of Gus Rhodes of GSR Drywall, the volunteer crew met their goal of repairing interior wall damage and recoating walls with plaster in only five days.

David Brown, one of the local organizers from the Fairfield Foundation, which owns the building, had only good things to say about the project and the volunteers: “The week went quickly as we all learned a lot about different types of plaster repair, and were able to put our new skills to work helping the station look better than ever before!”

Not only was plastering completed, but volunteer momentum served as a catalyst for repair of iron window and garage door tracks and continued work on the historic exterior light fixtures.

Also in August, ten volunteers gave a week of their time to the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx, New York. The volunteers, ranging in age from 19 to 55, came to the museum to continue restoration work begun last year on the National Historic Landmark’s historic interior wooden shutters.

With five of this year’s volunteers from Brooklyn and the Bronx, and five traveling from France, selection of the Lannuier bedroom, which houses the museum’s prized Charles-Honoré Lannuier bedstead, was particularly appropriate. Charles-Honoré Lannuier was a French-born American cabinetmaker (1779–1819), who lived and worked in New York City.

Working efficiently under the guidance of Gerald Gamer of Fifty-Three Restorations, volunteers removed shutters and stripped, sanded, primed and painted them. Historic hardware was then repaired and the shutters re-hung. The project was completed within the projected time frame, even allowing for lunchtime lectures and behind the scenes tours of the museums to complement the volunteers’ experience.

With the success of this year’s project, the BPMM and AiP are all set to continue the Shutter Shop on Shore Road next August.

For additional information on volunteer-powered preservation projects, contact Judith Broeker or visit

Adventures in Preservation is a non-profit organization connecting people and preservation through enriching experiential programs. AiP’s one- and two-week hands-on volunteer vacations give travelers the opportunity to truly experience their destination and learn hands-on skills. Volunteer efforts help save valuable historic buildings vital to economic and environmental sustainability of the project community. Learn more at

Judith Broeker    
Adventures in Preservation

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Judith Broeker
Adventures in Preservation
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