The 3 R’s: Restoration, Recovery, Revival


The ice house here at the Jay Heritage Center is over one hundred and twenty years old.  While the structure itself may date back to around 1890, many of the surrounding stone walls are actually rooted in the 1820s or earlier.  These distinctive stone walls contributed significantly to the declaration of the Boston Post Road as a National Historic Landmark in 1993.

Unfortunately, before the birth of the Jay Coalition and the Jay Heritage Center, some parts of the property were left to weather without proper preservation measures.  This was the case with the Jay Ice House, which witnessed fairly substantial corrosion.  The decay, primarily in the two doors, was foremost caused by rainfall.

Pre-Restoration Door
Pre-Restoration Door
Before & After : The Windows
Before & After : Ice House Windows

Bruce MacDonald, an artisan from Ashwood Restoration, explained that the design of the diagonal wood boards probably caused improper draining of the rainwater, resulting in deterioration specific to the bottom corners of the doors.

Bruce MacDonald hard at work in the workshop
Bruce MacDonald Hard At Work in the Workshop
Mid-Restoration Door

After splicing and replacing the decayed pieces, MacDonald embedded borate crystals in the wood.  These crystals will remain in the structure and activate upon contact with moisture, protecting and radiating throughout the material.

Borate Crystals (via flickr)
Borate Crystals (via flickr)


Finishing Off Door #1
Finishing Off Door #1

The restoration process of the Jay Ice House Doors began last month and is progressing quite efficiently. We look forward to seeing the newly improved doors back in their rightful hinges!

Historic Preservation , , , , , , , ,

Written by jayheritagecenter

Jay Heritage Center (JHC) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit that manages and operates the Jay Estate in Rye, a National Historic Landmark site, as a public park and learning center. The site was once the childhood home of Founding Father, John Jay (1745-1829) his descendants and many other men, women and children - witnesses to the evolution of our country - who left their personal narratives, whether free or enslaved, native or immigrant, on this land. As part of its mission, JHC examines the legacy of Jay and his family together with the stories of the individuals who followed them and preserved this place through their own vision and stewardship. To that end, we host numerous educational programs in American History, Social Justice, Architecture, Archaeology & Environmental Conservation. But we can't do it without our volunteers! Because we receive no annual government funding from the City of Rye, Westchester County or New York State, we rely heavily on volunteers to help us preserve and operate the Jay Estate. This blog, powered by some of our most dedicated volunteers, is one more way for us to share our discoveries, accomplishments and original research with the public in real time. We are immensely grateful to the authors of these entries and oral histories for the investment of effort they have expended on our behalf and yours!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: