Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Update On Fort Ticonderoga’s 1826 Pavilion Project

Designing the Future for Fort Ticonderoga's PavilionThe design phase has begun for Fort Ticonderoga’s Pavilion, an 1826 historic home and later hotel located on Fort Ticonderoga just east of Fort Ticonderoga. John G. Waite Associates, Architects PLLC, a consultant firm in the field of historic preservation architecture, has been hired to prepare schematic design and design development documents.

The Fort Ticonderoga Association is expected to use the documents in the stabilization and restoration of the building as part of a larger master plan for the site.

“As one of the earliest summer homes and hotels in the region, the Pavilion is considered a very important historic structure in the Adirondacks,” according to Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “The Pavilion is a critical link spanning nearly two centuries of Fort Ticonderoga’s history encompassing the stories of landmark preservation, the birth of American tourism, and monumental restoration.”

Although much of the Pavilion’s early fabric remains, the building has been altered over the years, and today is in poor condition due to of decades of little or no maintenance. Interior features have deteriorated along with elements of the building’s exterior. Without stabilization and rehabilitation work, the building would be in jeopardy of being lost, making this project vital and timely.

A team of architects, architectural historians, and building conservators from John G. Waite Associates carried out field work to investigate the Pavilion in 2013-2014, to document and understand the current state of the building and identify the various phases of the building’s evolution. Dendrochronology on the timbers identified beams dating from the late 17th century, 18th century, and 19th century.

Plans for the Pavilion’s reuse include a meeting space, hospitality functions, administrative support, dining, and guest services. The Pavilion’s restoration is part of a larger multi-year capital initiative being undertaken by Fort Ticonderoga.

The Pavilion’s History

The Pavilion was built as a summer home in 1826 by William Ferris Pell. He and his family occupied it through the 1830s. By 1840 the house had begun to be used as a hotel, its primary function through 1900. As a hotel, the house welcomed travelers passing through Ticonderoga while traveling by steamboat on Lake George and Lake Champlain. The hotel is known to have accommodated such guests as Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln; the prominent French & Indian War historian Francis Parkman; and prolific Adirondack photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard. When William Ferris Pell’s great-grandson, Stephen H.P. and his wife Sarah G.T. Pell began the restoration of Fort Ticonderoga in 1909, they simultaneously undertook the restoration of the Pavilion and used the house as a summer residence for many years. After Stephen Pell’s death in 1950 his son John occupied the house until 1987.

The Pavilion is owned by the Fort Ticonderoga Association, an independent not-for-profit educational organization that governs the Fort Ticonderoga site. The site includes North America’s largest 18th-century artillery collection, 2,000 acres of historic landscape on Lake Champlain, including the Carillon Battlefield, and the largest series of untouched 18th-century earthworks surviving in America.

Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation, boat cruises, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year and is open for daily visitation May through October. Visit their website for a full list of ongoing programs or call (518) 585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, New York.

Photo of the Pavilion provided.

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