Word is spreading nationwide that work is underway to restore and preserve the Gustav Stickley House in Syracuse.
The latest exciting news about the project was shared at the 30 th Anniversary National Arts and Crafts Convention held Feb. 17-19 at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville N.C.
The New York Times calls the event “the most important weekend of the year for Arts and Crafts collectors” so members of the Gustav Stickley House Foundation had a captive audience with which to share information about the restoration and preservation of the home.
“We had the chance to talk to a lot of people,” said Amy Shook Perez, the foundation’s secretary. “We were highly featured.”
Attending the conference along with Amy were David Rudd, foundation president; Cindy McGinn, board member; Barbara Fuldner, committee member; and Beth Crawford, project manager from Crawford and Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners.
During the three-day conference, news about the Gustav Stickley House preservation was received with a great deal of enthusiasm by people attending from around the nation.
Before conference director Bruce Johnson made his opening remarks, he graciously allowed the foundation to present a slideshow about the Gustav Stickley House on Columbus Avenue. That session drew 1,000 attendees.
A small group discussion about the project, hosted by Beth Crawford, attracted 44 people – while that type of discussion at the conference usually draws 15 to 20 people.
The project was also featured in photographs and written material throughout the weekend at a prominent booth staffed by foundation members, where they had the opportunity to share information and answer questions.
Foundation members also collected several new names and email addresses from people all over the country interested in supporting and staying updated on the project. “We have as many Arts and Crafts collectors in California as we do in the Northeast,” said David Rudd.
“Everybody is happy that this is finally happening and very excited to see it is going forward.”
The conference proved to be a perfect time to reach many Arts and Crafts enthusiasts at one time, as the 2017 event drew record attendance. In a message sent to exhibitors following the conference, director Bruce Johnson said, “I want to take a just a moment of your time to thank you for helping us produce an amazing 30th National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows.
While we are still pulling numbers together, this was obviously the largest crowd we have ever had in all thirty years. And based on informal polling, they came ready to buy.”
The Gustav Stickley House project was also the subject of the latest issue of American Bungalow Magazine, a favorite publication of people interested in the Arts and Crafts period.
Phase I of the restoration will focus on the exterior of the house. Bids are expected to be submitted this Spring.
An artist’s rendering of the planned exterior restoration, Phase I of the project, was recently released, showing the house brought back to its original Queen Anne design, the way the home appeared when Gustav Stickley purchased the house. The renovation plan also features elements added to the house by Stickley after a 1901 fire, including a porch and the large Arts and Crafts style front door that remains today. After the fire, Stickley completely transformed much of the home’s interior, which is widely regarded as the first Craftsman style interior in the nation.
The exterior work that will be included in Phase I of the restoration project is shown below.
–by Patricia Rycraft O’Toole
Be sure to check the web site often for further updates on the project.