The Summer Kitchen was identified in the 2015 Gilfillan Farm Master Plan as having foundation settlement, rising damp on the pumpkin brick with additional masonry cracks and deterioration. As per the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, a work plan has been put together by Ski Masonry to create a more solid foundation, install drainage to move the water away from the building and repair/replace brick and mortar with period appropriate materials. The project was estimated to cost $98,000. In summer 2019, with $49,000 in matching funds from previous Barnyard Beer Benefits, HSUSC was able to secure a grant for the project.
The Gilfillan Farm Summer Kitchen Project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Keystone Historic Preservation Grant, a program funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In preparation for the work, Sue Myers from the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden removed the 100-year old rhubarb from the north wall of the Summer Kitchen and is caring for the plants until they can be replanted. A USC Resident and HSUSC Volunteer performed metal detecting around the grounds and found several coins and interesting metal pieces. The University of Pittsburgh Department of Anthropology brought college students and invited local USC high school students to learn about ground penetrating radar and other scanning techniques on the grounds surrounding the Summer Kitchen. Professors from the University of Pittsburgh will also monitor the digging that Ski Masonry will be doing to repair the building.
The work will be mostly complete prior to Upper St. Clair Community Day on Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Weekly photographic updates are posted to the Gilfillan Farm Facebook and Instagram pages.
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