Monday, May 25, 2015

Help Save Syracuse's Barnes-Hiscock Mansion

If you are a follower or occasional reader of this blog, then you know that I love old homes and there is a high probability that you do too. There is an old home in my hometown, Syracuse, NY, that I have a special affinity for. James Street, in that city, was once lined with remarkable homes like the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion. Over the years, they have been demolished or neglected to the point where only a small handful still survive.
Exterior view of the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion on James Street in Syracuse, NY. Photo by Eric Payne. 
In my other blog, I’ve written a little about the home because of its amazing interiors, some of which were designed by nationally renowned architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee. It doesn’t take a PhD in Art History to realize that the architectural history of the home is very rich.
Photo of the Barnes Dining Room fireplace.
Photo of the Barnes Dining Room built-in sideboard.
Equally rich is the home’s social history. It is uniquely intertwined with the history of the city of Syracuse. Because of its owners and their political and historical associations, the home has connections to Abolition and the Underground Railroad.  The home was host to many meetings of local and national politicians and activists. While in Syracuse, President Taft once stayed in the home. To see a bit of the home and its history, click the video below:

The Barnes-Hiscock Mansion is currently overseen by the George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation and the Foundation needs your help. Presently, there is a fundraising effort going on to replace and reconstruct the roof and its historic details. At this point, there is no donor that has stepped forward to single-handedly pay for this much needed restoration. Instead, the Foundation must rely on small donations from many individuals in order to fund the work and receive additional grants.
View of deteriorating portico balustrade and roof. Photo courtesy of the George & Rebecca Barnes Foundation. 
Arial view of the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion showing a makeshift patchwork of blue tarps to help protect the room. Photo from Google maps.  
Help save and restore the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion. The easiest way to give is by clicking on THIS LINK to the online fundraising campaign. No donation is too big or too small so please give what you can. It would be terrible to see this remarkable piece of our history lost forever. 
Also, please take the time to give and to follow their Facebook page to learn more about the Foundation, its activities and this amazing structure.     


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