During November and December 2016 the Restoration and Preservation Department completed Preservation Guidelines; a conditions assessment of Cedar Dell; on-site testing with Kaercher Professional Steam Cleaners; created an in-house restoration shop within the service yard; began digital tracking of all restoration repairs including geolocation; and completed over 50 restoration repairs within the shop.
The assessment of Cedar Dell included full photo documentation, treatment recommendations, and site analysis. This report focused on issues of brownstone deterioration, repeated mower-induced damage to historic monuments, and how to mitigate these ill effects. Documentation and analysis is crucial within Green-Wood’s historic landscape.
The creation of the restoration shop has greatly facilitated repair tracking and productivity. The shop allows for sculptures and monuments to be repaired indoors during winter months, with adequate heat and time required for appropriate curing of cementitious materials. Before a monument is brought into the shop it is photographed, and its location is digitally annotated. Photographs are taken of the repairs as they are completed, a repair report is written listing the conservation treatments, and all content is saved within a distinct repair file.
This way, we will be able to track the success of our repairs while also having complete accuracy during the reinstallation process. Repairs thus far have included: tin-cured silicone mold making for creating new ornamental and structural monument components; hydroxylating conversion treatments for marble consolidation; elimination of inadequate epoxy and Portland cement repairs; and strict use of proprietary lime mortars specifically formulated for historic applications.
Kaercher Professional Steam Cleaners has chosen Green-Wood Cemetery as a site for their cultural heritage cleaning program. The company will complete three large scale monument cleanings in 2017.
The integration of Preservation and Restoration into a more dedicated, full time department within the Design and Landscape office with direct connection to the Horticulture Department has created a united and thoughtful approach to how Green-Wood maintains its cultural landscape.
Neela joined in 2016 to establish a new position which underscores Green-Wood’s strategic commitment to preservation. Previously, Neela served as the site foreman at EverGreene Architectural Arts, where she supervised the restoration of the historic ceiling murals at the main branch of the New York Public Library. She holds an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation.