Restoration Overview

The Graycliff Conservancy began planning for restoration of the estate even before its purchase was assured. A $10,000 grant from the Preservation League of New York State allowed the Conservancy to commission a historic structures report, completed by Bero Associates in 1999. This detailed report serves as the guide to restoration work at Graycliff.

Because Graycliff was designated a New York State Landmark in 1998, all restoration plans and execution are subject to approval by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

 
Phase 0

Phase 0

Phsae 0 included planning as well as removal of non-historic buildings. Much work was completed volunteers.

Phase I

Phase I

During Phase I, the first steps of actual restoration took place, as well as the creation of an attractive, handicapped-accessible Visitor Pavilion.

Phase II

Phase II

Phase II restoration continued removal of non-historic buildings, installation of handicapped-accessible walkways, and several masonry restoration projects.

Phase IIIA

Phase IIIA

Phase III was the most significant phase of restoration of Graycliff, from 2006-2008. It included installation of a massive underground drainage system throughout the site. Restoration of the Isabelle R. Martin House: Roofs; chimney; Isabelle's Balcony; Darwin's Balcony, new basement floor. Restoration of the Foster House: Extensive structural repairs; roof; copper flashing & gutters; chimney; Screen Wall; North, East, West and Southwest balconies.


Phase IIIB

Phase IIIB

Restoration of Graycliff continued from 2007 thru 2009 in this phase of restoration, which included windows and doors, the North Terrace of the Isabelle R. Martin House; and extensive work on the Foster House including asbestos abatement, installation of a state-of-the-art misting fire protection system in this building, and exterior stucco restoration.

Phase IV: Historic Landscape

Phase IV: Historic Landscape

Graycliff's historic landscape is as important historically as its buildings. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in his own hand, with additional designs by Ellen Biddle Shipman, one of the originators of the Arts & Crafts-style garden, Graycliff's historic landscape is 8.5 acres, and includes several fascinating features, including a pond and fountain, a stair tower, sunken gardens, and a dramatic drive.

Phase V : Interiors

Phase V : Interiors

Interior work completed to date includes two important projects: The restoration of the Sun Porch used by the Martin Family; and restoration of floors in the entry way, living room and dining room, as well as fire suppression in these areas

Phase VI

Phase VI

Phase VI, the restoration of historic furnishings, is progressing behind the scenes. Thanks to prestigious national funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Graycliff Historic Report and Collections Assessment was recently completed. This research, by Pamela Kirschner and Scott Perkins, will inform the Conservancy's efforts to accurately furnish the interiors and care for the collection.