Updated 08/02/2011 01:46 PM
Volunteers Restore Bronx Mansion's Past
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A hidden treasure in the Bronx is getting spruced up.
The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in Pelham Bay Park brings the charm of the 1800s into the 21st century.
On Tuesday, staff, volunteers and preservation experts could be seen repainting the mansion and replacing fixtures as part of a week-long workshop.
One of the projects also includes preserving 170-year-old shutters that normally hang in the double parlor.
Those participating say even though it's hard work, everybody wins.
"There's a whole curatorial process involved, we have to very carefully catalog each shutter so we know where it came from and where it goes back, all the hinges and fasteners need to be cataloged as well," said Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Executive Director Ellen Bruzelius.
"It's a chance to step back in the past and do things the old way. The old manner. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways," said volunteer Bob Pietropaoli.
Over the past three years, volunteers have worked to restore the mansion's formal gardens. Given its success, board members say they are considering tackling a to-do list of other projects.
"We really would like to do a preservation program here with multiple workshops throughout the year where we can really start an educational program and get a lot of volunteers flowing through and a lot of important work done here," Bruzelius said.
The museum is both a city and national landmark. Back in 1840, it was one of several mansions that stood in what is now Pelham Bay Park.
The workshop runs through Friday.
For more information, visit www.bpmm.org.