HHT’s Capital Team collaborates on a daily basis with our partner sites, NYC Parks Maintenance & Operations staff members, and outside service providers to ensure the continued maintenance of these significant historic properties.
HHT’s Capital Team coordinates, on average, 285 maintenance requests from our partner sites every year. Maintenance requests typically relate to carpentry, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and blacksmithing needs. HHT also responds to emergency needs at our member houses in order to keep this collection of sites safe, secure, and open to the public.
Plaster Failure at Van Cortlandt House Museum
See what goes into an emergency maintenance project at one of HHT’s partner sites.
NYC Parks annually assigns funds exclusively for operational needs at the historic house sites. These funds cover services such as pest control, fire alarms, security systems, emergency supplies, and miscellaneous specialty repairs. This work is carried out to support the upkeep of our member sites and is directly managed by HHT.
Many of HHT’s house sites are home to magnificent trees that have historical significance and anchor the park sites in which they are located. Tree resources require special oversight and HHT works closely with the NYC Parks Forestry team to undertake routine tree inspections to determine their health and stability. Pruning and tree care are regularly performed and in the event of storm damage, HHT also helps clear the sites of debris.
HHT’s member houses carefully track attendance and the Capital Team collects this information on a monthly basis. The records are provided to NYC Parks for inclusion in the Mayor’s Management Report. This information is critical to NYC’s annual budgeting process to support funding allocations for NYC Parks resources.
NYC Parks has been a leader in establishing public/private partnerships on parkland, as witnessed by the many conservancies and entities that have been formed to bring increased resources and services to parks throughout the City. In fact, the Van Cortlandt House in The Bronx was a very early example, having formed their partnership with the City in 1896.
These relationships are accomplished through a formal license agreement between NYC Parks and the partner group. Each of the 23 City-owned historic houses has its own agreement with its non-profit partner that outlines the terms of the relationship and responsibilities such as security, landscaping, maintenance, museum operations, and fundraising. HHT assists NYC Parks in the implementation of these agreements.