CROWN POINT | Wellington Clark Homestead recently received new paint and window repairs at little extra cost to the city.
The work was done by a small crew of Public Works Department employees, saving the city about $14,000 in costs had the job gone to an outside firm, said Jay Olson, department director.
The crew of six re-glazed windows and repainted the exterior of the 166-year-old, approximately 1,500-square-foot structure. It once housed early Crown Point settlers Wellington Clark and his family.
Paint and other supplies were paid from a small stipend in the city budget set aside for care of the house at 227 S. Court St., Crown Point.
The City Council recognized the workers last week.
Crew member Ken Abels had been a union glazer before joining the Public Works Department, Olson said. Doug Robinson, lead painter, had been a professional painter. Woodwork on the windows was handled by Jim Drackart, who'd been a carpenter.
Windy Blair, Nanci Jewart and Joseph Mion scraped old paint from the cedar siding original to the house and repainted it white, the same color it likely always has been.
The house built in 1847 had last been painted in 2008, said architect Jim Smith, a member of the Old Homestead Committee, which oversees care of the structure.
"The interior's in good shape," Smith said. "The outside needed a good coat of paint."
The committee initially sought outside bids for the work before teaming with the city to have it done. The siding and windows are original to the house, which has undergone little remodeling, Smith said.
"That's one of the reasons it was put on the National Register (of Historic Places)," Smith said. The house is one of few remaining of its kind to have not been retouched or extensively remodeled.
"This house is pretty much the way it was when Wellington Clark lived there," Smith said.
Clark was an early entrepreneur who moved to Northwest Indiana from New York and opened a cheese factory near what is now Lowell.
His daughter, Claribel, grew up in the house. She deeded it to the city in 1959. Efforts to restore it began in the late 1990s.