Restoration begins at the John R. Park Homestead

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Essex Significant restoration work to ensure the long-term sustainability of the historic home of John and Amelia Park began at the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area last week.

A comprehensive architectural review has identified that nearly $1.5 million dollars in structural repair work, foundation works, roof repairs, window and door replacements, waterproofing and more needs to be undertaken to ensure the sustainability of the precious original buildings of John and Amelia Park. These nearly 200-year-old buildings require extensive restoration work to ensure that they will be maintained for generations to come.

Thanks to a leadership gift from The Toldo Foundation announced earlier this month, $500,000 from the Essex Region Conservation Authority, and another $100,000 raised through the Essex Region Conservation Foundation, the most pressing restoration works, including the structural repairs to the roof and foundation of the historic home, are proceeding. The Essex Region Conservation Foundation is concurrently working to raise the balance of the funds needed to complete the comprehensive restoration works.

“While the remainder of the outbuildings, the conservation area grounds, and the Conservation Centre will remain open during construction, the historic home will be closed to the public until Spring 2024,” explained Kevin Money, Director of Conservation Services. “Valuable educational programming and unique special events will still take place in a re-imagined way.”

“The importance of ensuring the long-term sustainability of these important pieces of our region’s history cannot be overstated,” added Tim Byrne, ERCA CAO. “Historic powder-post beetle damage, age, and the exposure to Lake Erie storm events, have created some urgent needs at the site, and we are thankful to those who have contributed to this incredibly important restoration effort.”

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