Spring & Summer News from the Odell House

07/02/2024

June 29, 2024

What a Spring We’ve Had!

Major Milestones for Restoration

For the first time in decades, the original Dutch timber frame cottage portion of the house has a sound floor and strong walls. Those of us who have rallied to save this house for years are thrilled to be able to safely stand where John Tompkins stood in 1732! Throughout the house, work on the final supports and foundation is now moving fast. The foundation for the rebuilt north addition, where the bathroom and storage will be located, is now complete. Room by room, the temporary supports are coming down as new steel beams and vertical studs are placed. Once all the walls are rebuilt the entire exterior will be shingled, including new windows. Then the interior finishes can begin.

 

Matching Funds for Restoration Approved

On May 21 the Greenburgh Town Board formally approved the inclusion of the matching funds for the next phase of restoration in the 2025 capital budget. This $500,000 is matched by another $500,000 from N.Y. State and both are part of the total grant funds of $3,200,000 allocated to restore Odell House.

 

Final Architectural and Landscape Plans

The plans for this next phase of restoration are well underway and decisions are being made about the details of the ADA-compliant bathroom, the walkways and the interior space.

Representatives from the Town, the Friends, the Tilly architectural firm and Amaze Design (the museum planning consultants) met at the house on June 6 for a discussion of important details such as lighting, audio visual exhibits, system controls and ceiling and walls finishes. The
architectural plans for this final phase will be submitted to NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (SPHO) by the end of the summer and a contract for the execution of the final phase will be completed, with work beginning in November.

The Friends are working to sign a new contract with Amaze Designs to plan and design the exhibits. The work for this phase will coincide with the completion of all the exterior restoration of the house so that the final completion of the museum can move in tandem. At the same time the final building plans are completed, a detailed landscape plan will also be ready for SHPO approval. Lovely walkways, a patio outside the stone section and plantings are envisioned. Weather permitting the new landscape will start to appear next Spring.

Recent Events

In early May, our Board began to prepare for a presentation at the Scarsdale Woman’s Club. We expanded the topic to include our first public presentation about the women who lived in Odell House in the 18th century. The stories of the lives of Sarah Bates, wife of a Loyalist, and of Hannah Odell, wife of the Patriot guide John Odell have never been told before. President Susan Seal imagined their lives, beginning with the birth of Sarah’s first child in 1772 and moving to Hannah’s death during childbirth in 1787. The Friends are planning to publish an article about Sarah and Hannah on our website this year. The event on May 8 included a display of needlework done by the Odell women in the 19th century, next to the beautiful Scarsdale Woman’s Club bicentennial quilt done by 20th century women. Thanks to Rob Pellegrino’s research, the Woman’s Club members from 1976 who created the quilt are now identified and their history will be part of our stories too.

Edgemont Elementary Schools Hosted the Pop-up Museum

Fourth graders at the Seeley Place and Greenville Schools enjoyed seeing a display of the artifacts from Odell House. Fourth grade is the year students study American History, so it was very pertinent to their learning experience. The museum was brought to each school by Board members, Vaneska Pasqua and David Seal and kept in a locked classroom. The teachers brought each class to see it and encouraged them to ask and answer questions. In an email afterwards, they said “the students absolutely loved seeing all the artifacts…It was a wonderful experience!” The museum will be on display at two events this fall so look for that announcement. If you know other schools (or events) that would like to have the pop-up museum, please emails us at odellrochambeau@gmail.com

 

We’re on Instagram!

Go to www.instagram.com/odellrochambeau/ to follow us on Instagram and tell all your friends!

 

Our Fundraising Campaign Starts Now!

The funding for our exhibits is not included in the restoration budget, which covers physical restoration only. The next planning phase is beginning and soon we’ll have designs for each exhibit. So, we need now to raise funds to create a compelling, interactive museum within the house. Wouldn’t you like to be the one to fund a talking portrait of Washington and Rochambeau planning the Battle of Yorktown? The more
we raise, the more exciting and informative the exhibits will be. Please give what you can—and let us know if you have connections to organizations or individuals who could make major donations.

If you want to donate by credit/debit card, go to our website odellrochambeau.org/donate, or scan this QR code with your phone.

If you want to donate by check, make it payable to Friends of OHRH and mail it to: OHRH, c/o Seal, 14 Rochambeau Drive, Hartsdale, NY 10530.

Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

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