A public event to announce the start of restoration of the historic Gustav Stickley House on Columbus Avenue in Syracuse is planned for Thursday, August 17.
The construction kickoff event, hosted by the University Neighborhood Preservation Association (UNPA) and the Gustav Stickley House Foundation, Inc. (GSHF), will be held at Stickley’s former home at 438 Columbus Ave. at 10 a.m. Renovation work begins this week.
Gustav Stickley, one of the leading furniture designers and major proponent of the American Arts & Crafts Movement of the early 20th century, owned the house from 1900 to 1911 and lived there again from 1919 to 1942. The home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is widely regarded as the first fully designed Craftsman interior in the country.
At the event, UNPA representatives will announce the signing of a construction contract with CNY Builder Services, LLC, of Lafayette, for the exterior work. The event will also include an announcement about a new fundraising campaign for the project and the unveiling of the new architect’s rendering of the restoration, which depicts the house as it looked when Gustav Stickley lived there.
While much of the interior designed by Stickley remains intact today, the house has fallen into disrepair over the years. Stickley’s furniture-making factory was located on Burnet Avenue and he also published a highly popular magazine, The Craftsman, which contained advertisements for his furniture as well as widely used plans for building Craftsman style homes.
The upcoming event marks the beginning of the Phase One of the plan to restore the house. Work this year includes repairs to the siding and trim; window restoration; a new roof; asbestos abatement; and reconstruction of the original front porch which was removed over 50 years ago.
The new exterior rendering was prepared by Joseph C. Falco of Environmental Design and Research of Syracuse, working together with Crawford & Stearns Architects and
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Preservation Planners PLLC, Syracuse, architects for the project, who prepared the plans and drawings for the restoration. Falco is also a neighbor of the Stickley House.
The plans for the restoration have been approved by the City of Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board and the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Funding for the project has been provided through grants from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for $500,000; the Urban Initiatives Program of the New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation along with the state Home and Community Renewal for $200,000; the CNY Community Foundation, Inc. for $30,000; and the William & Mary L. Thorpe Charitable Fund for $20,000. The Arts & Crafts Society of CNY also donated $10,000.
Also at Thursday’s event, UNPA will announce a $7,500 grant from the National Trust of Historic Preservation from Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors. Those funds will be used to help support the preparation of the Historic Structure Report which will document the historic interior of the house as it was designed by Gustav Stickley in 1902.
The Gustav Stickley House Foundation, a non-profit “friends” organization, is also raising funds for the project. Today it announces the launching of its “Campaign for Completion” a fundraising drive to raise $25,000 towards completion of Phase One. The foundation has already received a commitment of $5,000 in matching funds towards the campaign. More information can be found on the foundation’s website, www.gustavstickleyhousefoundation.org.
Ultimately, the Onondaga Historical Association will take over ownership of the building and complete the Phase 2 restoration of the nationally significant interior. Additional fundraising will be necessary to complete the project in its entirety.
Gustav Stickley purchased the house, where he lived with his wife and children, in 1900. In 1901, a fire on Christmas Eve caused extensive damage to the home. Stickley redesigned the interior of the home in the American Craftsman style. He also added a Craftsman style front door.
Phase One work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.