Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has been awarded a $500,000 Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant support much-needed major repairs and restoration work at the Bevier-Elting House (ca. 1700, 1735, and 1760) in New Paltz.
The project, expected to start in 2022 and continue over the next five years, is one of 49 projects in 29 states funded by the SAT program this year.
A key structure centrally located within HHS’s ten-acre National Historic Landmark District, the Bevier-Elting House is an extraordinary example of Dutch vernacular architecture in the United States. Home to generations of the Bevier and Elting families, this structure is the earliest house maintaining its original form on Huguenot Street, and is a rare surviving example of the front-gable orientation common in Dutch architecture.
Historical documents indicate that each of the patentees and other early families enslaved Africans. That includes the Beviers and Eltings. Names of the enslaved descendants listed in inventories and bills of sale relating to Samuel Bevier and Josiah Elting’s son include Molly, Bett, and Sam. The cellar of the Bevier-Elting House is interpreted as a kitchen where the enslaved would have lived and slept and serves as an integral part of HHS’s tours, which strive to tell the stories of all residents of the street and not merely those of the white European inhabitants.
Recognizing roof and other repairs were needed on the Bevier-Elting House, HHS commissioned Lothrop Associates LLP Architects and Silman Structural Engineers in 2018 to do a conditions assessment. The subsequent report pointed to several major areas of concern in the stone foundation and walls of the house, as well as in the wood framing and roof structure. The Save America’s Treasures grant and matching funds will ensure the long-term preservation of this historic stone structure so that it may be interpreted for audiences for centuries to come.
This is the second Save America’s Treasures grant awarded to HHS. The first was granted in 2006 for reconstruction of the north wall of the Jean Hasbrouck House (ca. 1721).
The Save America’s Treasures grant was provided by the National Park Service, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
For more information visit the HHS website.
Photo of Bevier-Elting House provided.