Friends of Gaineswood seeking community partners

Published 4:56 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

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Friends of Gaineswood celebrated a successful year in 2023. With plans to make 2024 even better, the group invites citizens to be part of their efforts by giving to help fund the work. 

As 2023 comes to a close, the group looks back at a year highlighted by “Heritage Days,” Christmas at Gaineswood,” and other special events scheduled throughout the year. Site Director, Nancy Lindsey and her staff worked hard to make the events and daily tours happen.

Looking ahead to 2024, Friends of Gaineswood are gearing up to initiate the Capital Outlays Restoration Project, a project that is estimated at $1,036,875, to restore the Gaineswood main house.

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The project was made possible through funding from the Alabama Historical Commission and private donations through Friends of Gaineswood, Inc. The final scope of work is relying on upcoming construction bids, and continued support from the community.

Gaineswood is a plantation house in Demopolis that was constructed between 1843 and 1861 by Nathan Bryan Whitfield. It is a National Historic Landmark and was designated as such in 1973.

The first phase of the project will focus on repairs to the roof. Repairs include roof leaks, porch floor covering, and crawl space window sash and sills. This phase is estimated to cost between $312,000 to $497,500.

Phase 2 will focus on the second floor of the home and repairs and painting exterior wood, deteriorated stucco, and deteriorated shutters. This phase is expected to cost between $398,000 to $796,000.

The final phase will be on the first floor level of the home. It will see repairs for structural cracks in the ceilings and walls, repairs and painting for plaster ceilings, walls, and domes, and railing at the Formal Gardens. The last phase is estimated at $326,000 to $702,000.

The total for all three phases is expected to be anywhere between $1,036,000 to 1,995,500.

Due to rising construction costs, the current funding does not cover the full expense of all Gaineswood’s most vital needs. Friends of Gaineswood asks that people in the community consider including them in their plans for giving in 2024.

Friends of Gaineswood was founded in 1994, and its mission is to ensure the restoration, preservation and interpretation of this National Historic Landmark.