Renovations

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Renovations to Washington Crossing Historic Park’s historic buildings and numerous modern-day structures are funded through a generous grant from the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Your tax-deductible contribution today will help us fund additional restoration projects and educational exhibits not covered under the grant from the Commonwealth. We truly appreciate your support!

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Major Rehabilitation Project Aims to Preserve Historic Structures and Create Usable Space

Eleven historic buildings and numerous modern-day structures at Washington Crossing Historic Park (PA) are currently undergoing a major rehabilitation thanks to $8.7 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The project kicked off in May 2021 and will take about a year and a half to complete.

“This certainly signals the start of a long-awaited and strongly supported transformation at Washington Crossing Historic Park, one that reflects the work of so many toward a shared, common goal,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn.

The 11 buildings include McConkey’s Ferry Inn, Thompson-Neely House, and many of the structures in the Taylorsville village. Areas being addressed include new roofs, new windows, plastering and painting exteriors, and internal plumbing and electrical work.

The project also includes renovating and reopening restrooms near the Washington Pavilion and repaving the road to Bowman’s Hill Tower.

All work on the buildings is being done using historic preservation methods. The company overseeing the project has experience preserving period buildings at other historic sites, including Pennsbury Manor.

“Washington Crossing Historic Park is one of the most significant historic sites in our state and its situation along the Delaware River makes it a gem in our state park system,” said State Senator Steve Santarsiero. “The restoration of these buildings will help the Friends of Washington Crossing Park continue their incredible work highlighting the story of the crossing and lifting up the park as a tourist destination.”

The project, which has faced several delays over the years, became the focus of coordinated efforts between Sen. Santarsiero and the Friends of Washington Crossing. Sen. Santarsiero has worked with both the state Department of General Services (DGS) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to get the project back on track.

In addition to preserving these historic structures, the project will create more usable space for the park and the Friends group. Plans call for the Friends to use the Mahlon Taylor House as their headquarters while other buildings will house an environmental center and classroom space for visiting schoolchildren. The long-closed Taylorsville Store may also reopen to sell food and a variety of “Made in PA” items.

October 2021

Renovations continue at several sites around Washington Crossing Historic Park.

The Historic Village

Re-stuccoing has been completed on the Route 532 houses and new windows will continue to be installed in the coming weeks. All of the roofs are slated to be replaced but that work has been slightly delayed due to supply chain issues. It’s hoped that roof work will begin in the next month or so. Exterior painting will be completed in the spring when it is warmer.

The foundation of the Hibbs house has been excavated and the building’s below-ground masonry has been repaired and sealed for waterproofing. Foundation excavation has begun around the Frye House. New windows and doors and a new pad for the coal bin have been installed at the Blacksmith Shop.

Masonry work on the stone gateways by the Visitor Center flagpole and by Route 532 are now complete and construction fencing removed. The stone and mortar have been beautifully restored.

Bowman’s Hill Tower

Repaving of the Bowman’s Hill Tower parking lot and road is complete, and the tower is now open to the public (note that the tower elevator is not currently working, but the park is in the process of assessing the work that needs to be done). The non-working restroom at the top of the hill has been demolished in preparation for a new restroom that will be installed sometime in 2022.

Other Areas

Foundation work and masonry repair is complete at the Thompson-Neely house. Additional work on the house will take place next year. New restrooms at Thompson-Neely are currently under construction.

September 2021

Renovations continue at several sites around Washington Crossing Historic Park.

The Historic Village

Re-stuccoing continues on the Route 532 houses using historically accurate materials. Dozens of new windows are also being installed. Once this work is finished and the houses are completely “buttoned up” to the elements, they will be repainted.

The installation of new water lines in the village is now done. When renovations are complete, these new lines will allow the plumbing in the Taylorsville buildings and the Washington pavilion restroom to function again.

Foundation work will begin shortly on the Hibbs House. The blacksmith shop will also be getting new windows and its chimney restored.

The severely degraded 1970s-era shed behind the Taylorsville store has been demolished and removed.

Bowman’s Hill Tower

Milling and repaving has begun on the half-mile road leading up to the tower. Park maintenance staff have also demolished the old, non-working restroom at the top of the hill in preparation for a new restroom that will be installed sometime in the coming year.

Other Areas

Foundation work and masonry repair is expected to be completed shortly at the Thompson-Neely House.

August 2021

Historic Village

Renovations to the houses along Route 532 are moving along rapidly.

  • Some of the houses are currently being re-stuccoed using historically accurate materials.
  • The chimneys on all of the houses look new thanks to a good cleaning and repointing of the mortar joints. The doors on the houses have also been restored and repainted.
  • New water lines continue to be installed throughout the village. This will allow the plumbing in the Taylorsville buildings and the Washington Pavilion restroom to function again.
  • The period-style fencing has been removed from around the Hibbs House to allow work to begin on that building.
  • The 1970s-era shed behind the Taylorsville store will soon be demolished due to its condition and the fact that it isn’t used anymore.

The Thompson-Neely House

Foundation excavation work and masonry repair continues at the Thompson-Neely House.

Bowman’s Hill Tower

Road and parking lot paving has begun at Bowman’s Hill Tower. Due to the work, the tower may be closed through October 1.

Late July 2021

The Historic Village

Renovations to the houses along Route 532 have now expanded to the Fredrick Taylor House (the pink house on the corner) and Elmer Buckman House (next to the pink house).

  • Windows in those houses have been removed and the stucco is coming off. Work continues on the other buildings, with several new windows recently going in.
  • Trenches will soon be dug and new water lines installed throughout the Taylorsville area. This will allow the plumbing in the Taylorsville buildings and the Washington Pavilion restroom to function again.
  • The period-style fencing has been removed from around the Hibbs House to allow work to begin on that building.

Bowman’s Hill Tower

Road and parking lot paving will begin this week. It is expected that the work will require the tower to possibly be closed through October 1.

Other Areas

  • Masonry work on the stone gateway by the Visitor Center flagpole has been completed. The stone and mortar have been beautifully restored.
  • Work continues on the stone gateway located on Route 532.
  • Foundation excavation work and masonry repair continues at the Thompson-Neely House.

Early July 2021

The Historic Village

The General Store and other Taylorsville buildings along Route 532 continue to be renovated.

  • Most of the exterior stucco has been removed because it is damaged, which can lead to moisture penetration and harm to the underlying structure. This stucco will be replaced as renovations move forward. Seeing these buildings without the stucco is a rare chance to view their original stonework, which remains in relatively good condition.
  • All windows in the Rt. 532 buildings have been removed and will be replaced in the near future.
  • Trench/foundation work and plumbing has begun at the Hibbs House.

The Thompson-Neely House

Foundation excavation work and masonry repair has begun at the Thompson-Neely House.

Other Areas

  • Work continues on the Washington pavilion and the stone gateways located on River Road and Route 532. Stonework and mortar on these gateways is being repaired and/or replaced.
  • Repaving of the road leading to Bowman’s Hill Tower has not begun yet but will do so shortly.

June 2021

A man works in front of a historic building, which has boarded-up windows while undergoing maintenance.
Renovations have begun at several sites around Washington Crossing Historic Park!

The Historic Village

The General Store and other Taylorsville buildings along Route 532 are being renovated (pictured above). Windows have been removed and will be replaced and stucco has been removed in several areas to test the underlying stone.

Bowman’s Hill Tower

The road leading to Bowman’s Hill Tower will be repaved in the near future.

Other Areas

The General Washington Pavilion and the stone gates at River Road and Route 532 (pictured) are undergoing maintenance.