About The Historic Preservation Project

The Pearl S. Buck House was built with family use in mind and not historical value and extensive visitation. Three decades of operation as a museum have taken their toll on the home’s infrastructure. Immediate preservation work must be accomplished to halt further damage and ensure future public access and safety.

In 2004, Pearl S. Buck House was classified as one of Pennsylvania’s “At Risk” Historic Houses by Preservation Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth’s only statewide historic preservation organization. A Historic Structures Report (HSR) was prepared in February 2005, which identified a preservation strategy for the House. It included recommendations for restoration and repair to address the physical conditions, as well as any potential code violations and functional improvements. To address imminent preservation needs, the Campaign for Historic Preservation was established in three phases to raise funds specifically for this important endeavor.

Phase I
Completed in August 2007
Cost: $937,081

  • Replaced decade-old “temporary” support posts with permanent piers and reinforced floor joints with steel plates
  • Repaired the slate roof and the entire copper gutter system
  • Restored all exterior doors and windows
  • Removed biological growth on the exterior stonework which was then repointed to eliminate mortar cracks
  • Dismantled balcony that was part of a 1950 renovation, and replaced the concrete and paver porch roof with new flat seam copper roof
  • Repaired and repainted plaster wall in the dining room below the balcony
  • Original shutters and their hardware were restored, repainted and re-hung
  • Enhanced handicap accessibility by installing a concrete walkway and ramp to access the House and adding additional handicap parking spaces.

Phase II
January to April 2010
Estimated Cost: $518,963

Phase II will install supplemental support rafters tied to existing rafters at various points on the third floor to achieve code and minimum live load capacity of 30 pounds per square foot. These upgrades will:

  • prevent future structural deterioration
  • allow access to the bedroom (which is currently closed to visitors)
  • increase the number of visitors allowed on the second floor at one time
  • increase handicapped accessibility to restrooms in the Cultural Center which supports visitors to the House, Tour Desk and Gift Shop

Phase III
Estimated Cost: $955,584

Phase III will focus on interior and exterior needs of the house, including resetting of the flagstone terrace, repair to water-damaged plaster, wood trim and cabinetry, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing upgrades.


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