By WECT Staff | February 8, 2021 at 1:31 PM EST – Updated February 8 at 1:31 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Bellamy Mansion Museum has been awarded an Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Funds Grant (ESHPF) of $219,735 to repair damage sustained during Hurricane Florence.
“The Bellamy Mansion has made it through a civil war, arson and over 50 named storms. Funding like this will enable us to complete the necessary repairs to help it survive whatever challenges lay ahead,” said Gareth Evans, Bellamy Mansion Museum Executive Director. “We are thrilled to receive the ESHPF grant to maintain Bellamy’s legacy for generations to come.”
The museum is one of 22 historic properties receiving federal grant funding as part of the National Park Service program. The fund, administered locally by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, awarded more than $9 million in grants to historic preservation projects in 18 counties across the state.
“This program provides much needed funding to not only help repair irreplaceable historic properties after storm damage, but to help local governments and non-profit organizations better prepare for future disasters,” said Reid Wilson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “These funds will help to ensure our state’s treasured cultural resources are included in future resiliency planning efforts.”
During the 2018 hurricane, a large portion of the Bellamy’s roof peeled away, allowing water to pour into all five levels of the building.
“Water soaked into the plaster walls and caused extensive damage, softening the plaster and producing conditions ripe for mold growth,” museum officials said in a news release. “The water also soaked into the plaster’s wood lathe structure, causing the wood to swell and the subsequent movement to shift and crack the plaster. Water damage extended through all five floors of the historic home with most of the water ending up pooling on the mansion’s carpets and wooden floors. Other parts of the mansion grounds also sustained some damage, though not as extensive as the main house. The museum was closed for 16 days after the hurricane, resulting in a large revenue loss in admission fees and event cancellations.”
Museum officials say that due to a high insurance deductible, most repairs were paid for directly by the museum.
“The ESHPF grant provides much needed support to cover the overwhelming costs of roofing work, plaster repair, and painting,” the new release states.
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