The George Eastman Museum recently received a $468,881 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to continue its ongoing restoration of George Eastman’s mansion.

“The George Eastman Museum is a source of real pride for Rochester and for the entire Finger Lakes region,” said Vinnie Esposito, executive director of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. “FLREDC is proud to facilitate the funding needed to take care of the historic home of the man whose innovative mind help to build Rochester. This funding will ensure that the museum will be able to continue its ongoing preservation efforts.”

The grant will be used for the repair and restoration of 68 windows, which are original to the house and were installed between 1903 and 1905. Over 100 years of severe weather has compromised the windows’ functionality and ability to protect the interior and structural integrity of the mansion. Customized, properly fitted storm windows will be installed to improve energy efficiency while preserving the historic elements and appearance of the property. Repairs will also restore 44 sets of window shutters.

“This substantial grant award from New York State will help ensure that George Eastman’s historic mansion will be appropriately preserved and enjoyed by visitors to the Finger Lakes region for decades to come,” said Bruce Barnes, museum director. “The total window restoration project cost is estimated to be nearly $700,000, and the museum has funded the remaining cost of this project with generous contributions from private donors, including Georgia Potter Gosnell and the Davenport-Hatch Foundation.”

The series of major restoration projects started three years ago when Bero Architecture conducted a site condition survey of George Eastman’s historic residence. The survey identified urgent and necessary restoration and repairs of various areas of the historic house and garden structures, with an estimated total cost of $3.5 million.

The museum received $500,000 in grant funding from the state to support restoration of the mansion’s east porch and colonnade in 2014. This project is currently underway and will continue through 2017. The museum has raised more than $1.4 million in private funding to support these efforts, which will preserve the historic mansion and ensure that all areas remain safe and publicly accessible.

George Eastman’s historic home became one of only two national historic landmarks in Rochester in 1966. The mansion reopened to the public following a major restoration of the first floor in 1990 to return it to how it looked during Eastman’s lifetime. More than 65 percent of visitors to the museum travel from across the U.S. and around the world.

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