Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has been awarded a $500,000 Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant from the National Park Service, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, according to a press release. Funding will support much-needed major repairs and restoration work at the Bevier-Elting House (ca. 1700, 1735 and 1760). The project, expected to start in 2022 and continue over the next five years, is one of 49 projects in 29 states funded by the SAT program this year.
A key structure centrally located within HHS’s ten-acre National Historic Landmark District, the Bevier-Elting House is an example of Dutch vernacular architecture in the U.S. Home to generations of the Bevier and Elting families, this important structure is the earliest house maintaining its original form on Huguenot Street, and is particularly significant in that it is a rare surviving example of the front-gable orientation common in Dutch architecture.
The house also plays an important role in HHS’s interpretation of slavery in New Paltz. Historical documents indicate that each of the patentees and other early families enslaved Africans. That includes the Beviers and Eltings. Names of the enslaved descendants listed in inventories and bills of sale relating to Samuel Bevier and Josiah Elting’s son include Molly, Bett and Sam.
The cellar of the Bevier-Elting House is interpreted as a kitchen where the enslaved would have lived and slept and serves as an integral part of HHS’s tours, which strive to tell the stories of all residents of the street and not merely those of the white European inhabitants.
The Save America’s Treasures grant and matching funds will ensure the long-term preservation of this historic stone structure so that it may be interpreted for audiences for centuries to come. “HHS is extremely grateful for this federal support,” the organization’s president Liselle LaFrance said in a statement. “To fully accomplish the needed repairs, we must raise an additional $500,000 in nonfederal funds, and we hope that our community of supporters will recognize the worthiness of the project, which will be implemented under the guidance of our Director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs, Josephine Bloodgood.”
This is the second Save America’s Treasures grant awarded to HHS. The first was granted in 2006 for reconstruction of the north wall of the Jean Hasbrouck House (ca. 1721).