Posted by: PearlSBuckHouse | 09/05/2012

Exposing the Beams: May 19 – August 31, 2012

By the middle of May, two rain gardens were constructed in the area of the garden tent on the historic site, per the requirements of the Hilltown Township Land Development provisions. The rain gardens are designed to collect the rain runoff from the tent and allow the collected water to leech slowly into the surrounding soil, reducing erosion and sediment accretion along Morris Run.

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Also, in May, plans for the construction of a new elevated sand mound septic system that will service the restrooms in the Cottage and Cultural Center on the historic site were underway.  The plans remain a work in progress with a local engineering firm, who will secure approvals from the Bucks County Department of Health before seeking final approvals from the Commonwealth’s Department of Environmental Protection.  Installation of the new system could occur as early as November 2012, pending approvals from all officials and weather conditions.

Preliminary work on the mechanical systems in the basements of the Pearl S. Buck House and Cottage were completed by the time August came to a close. Hot water coils and humidifier recirculation ducts for the air handler units were put into place but not yet rendered fully operational. In order to bring the new components online, the entire heating system would need to be drained and then recharged before turning everything back on.  Given that additional work scheduled  in February 2013 would also involve the same process of purging the system, it was agreed that holding off on piping in the new fixtures was in the best interest of the mechanical and plumbing systems overall.

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A new exterior door was installed at the entrance to the Cottage between the two greenhouses.  Replacing the wooden framed structure and wooden door with a steel frame and door designed to withstand the elements should greatly reduce water infiltration and safeguard the mechanical systems in the Cottage basement.

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The project is on hiatus until January 1st, 2013 when staff and volunteers will work together to carefully inventory, pack and store the collections before Phase III work resumes on the interior in February.

Staff is continuing to submit grant proposals and recently issued a Capital Campaign newsletter outlining the progress of the eight-year journey to complete the preservation project on the Pearl S. Buck House in an effort to raise the remaining $440,000 required to meet the $1.6 million dollar projected costs. You can help us reach our fundraising goal by contributing to the capital campaign via our website at www.psbi.org/capitalcampaign.

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