On Wednesday March 29th Support the Pink House held their monthly meeting, and it was jam packed with positive updates on all parts that are forming the future of the Pink House.
The tireless Steering Committee - Alison Odle, Rochelle Joseph, Eric Hoover, David Dempsey - has been hard at work this winter:
Bill Barrett, Newbury resident, trusted builder and STPH member, and Pink House Chair Rochelle Joseph were granted an inside look of the house and photographed and filmed parts of it. We were able to see the condition of the interior, as well as cursory inspection of the buildings foundation & framing. This was exciting as few have been allowed into The Pink House, especially since it was purchased by the US Fish and WIldlife Service in 2011.
Barrett’s review was that the interior remains in surprisingly good shape, with minimal water damage and mold. Her "bones - the structure - is sound. All good news for restoration of the exterior in order to preserve the house.
Rochelle also reported that the Refuge has agreed to clear vegetation 3 feet away from the house to allow for airflow and keep additional spring growth from causing damage. Both the walk-thru and taking care of the invasive vegetation are positive signs that the Refuge is listening to the Support the Pink House cause. Certainly the support for STPH from local, state and federal representatives was a huge step forward! Joseph is working on other line items for the Refuge to further protect the house. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on that.
Pink House Land Specialist David Dempsey explained the latest on current options on the table for land trade, in order to secure the 2-acres +/- of land upon which the Pink House sits from the 7-acres plus of wetlands behind the house.
The group is also exploring the potential uses for the Pink House:
PUBLIC USE (eg. museum, community venue):
Ruled out since would require too many changes to both the interior and
exterior of the house in order to make it handicap accessible, as well parking requirements & high liability.
LOW-IMPACT RENOVATION (eg. art, science):
All agree that the ideal use would be to find an organization or university that would be interested in using the house as a base for oceanographic, marsh, barrier-island, etc field research. There are examples of similar uses in the area (eg. the Marine Biological Laboratory has both purchased and rented from the ECGA since 1992 for field operations). With a low-impact use another party would come to the table with their own source of funding, as well would provide increased improvements to the building for their use rather than simply shoring-up the shell.
With a great slide show and video from inside the cupola, Rochelle walked us through the interior of the house. Some terrific architectural character still remains, a pleasant surprise was found by minimal water damage, and the views from the house are as stunning as everyone imagined.
Sandy Tilton is tracing the lineage of the Pink House, and separating fact from stories past down. She has begun gathering great information on past owners and will be reaching out via social media, etc to try to connect with anyone that may have information or photos that they can share it.
Resident, Volunteer and Researcher Extraordinaire Sandy Tilton kept people spellbound with tales of the Pink House's history. She is working with Founder Alison Odle who is spearheading the project, which will serve many purposes, one of which she hopes will become a Pink House book. Photo by Jivonne Alley
Volunteer opportunities! Anyone new to the group was asked for contact info, and a few upcomingneeds are on the table:
New brochures are being printed and will need to be distributed to surrounding communities.
Welcoming ideas on locations +/or volunteers to distribute.
YANKEE HOMECOMING (July 30 -August 6);
Volunteer for a shift at the Inn Street booth/table during the week to rai
se awareness, collect donations, sell merchandise and (hopefully) grow the group.
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, July 11 at Flatbread Amesbury! A portion of proceeds for all pizzas sold (dine-in and take-out) will be donated by Flatbread Co of Amesbury.
To find out more, be notified of upcoming meetings +/or to volunteer LIKE the Facebook page AND fill out the CONTACT US info!
We are grateful to our most AWESOME volunteer Jivonne Alley, who is our guest blogger this month, for doing such great job condensing the formidable information from the two hour meeting and for taking fantastic photos all along the way.