Built in 1914, Park House has been operated as an affordable, congregate housing option for seniors and individuals with disabilities since 1991. In 2017, with the help of many generous grant partners, significant improvements were made to the property with the goals of lowering maintenance and utility costs, improving the comfort of residents, and maintaining the beautiful landmark at the corner of the Rochester Park.
Many of these upgrades are virtually invisible. The elevator and the alarm system received vital upgrades to improve their compliance with modern building codes and to reduce future maintenance needs. A sprinkler system and kitchen fire suppression system were added. Extensive air sealing and insulation were done. Due to potential snow load from a properly insulated attic, the entire building was structurally reinforced.
On the exterior, rot was repaired and storm water drainage was improved. Attic vent areas were replaced with more attractive, louvered vents. Extremely rotten, asbestos laden attic windows were replaced with visually identical new windows. Approximately 75 percent of the windows in the living spaces were changed from single paned glass with aluminum combination storm windows and screens to insulated glass with just a screen.
To further improve resident comfort, split unit heat pumps were added to each unit and a new, more efficient hot water system was added. Some slight changes to the interior floor plan allowed for the addition of 5 new fully ADA compliant private baths. Our existing 2 laundry rooms were improved and made accessible, and a new laundry room was added on the third floor. The kitchen, which had included numerous components up to forty years old, was fully renovated.
We believe that we should be considered for this award because these renovations will keep Park House functioning as an asset to the community while maintaining its integrity as an historic property.