Any homeowner knows that old houses need lots of upkeep and old mansions need even more. It’s true of the 1896 Ford-MacNichol home and so it is with its across-the-street cousin, the 1897 Ford-Bacon home.
You may have noticed that a construction boom lift, also referred to as a cherry picker, has taken up residence near the front of the Bacon Library. It’s part of a major renovation of the historic home’s spacious wrap-around porch.
Throughout the years, as wind, rain, snow, ice and age have taken their toll, the venerable Queen Anne style structure has undergone more than half a dozen major renovations. Masonry and concrete work, roof replacements, new windows, a total renovation of the 1962 annex, a new wiring system, the implanting of a three level elevator and a geothermal heating system were all six figure projects that disrupted library operations, but were necessary upgrades.
The current construction is really two projects. Both sets of stairs off the back parking lot have been replaced with metal stairs. Awnings will be added to shield against rain and snow. The previous concrete stairs were crumbling largely as a result of the salt applied over many winters.
An even more involved project is the renovation of the front porch of the Ford-Bacon house. The entire veranda was wearing away from the foundation to the roof and will be restored. The columns will be repaired and painted. Tuck pointing is needed and the mosaic tiles will be repaired. Construction will continue throughout the winter with plastic sheeting protecting the workers from the elements.
All these endeavors will keep the building functional and preserve its stately appearance for another generation to enjoy.