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John R. Oishei Foundation Lends a Hand

posted Jul 4, 2010, 1:36 PM by Dennis Hirschfelt
August 29th, 2009

By: Gary Costello

The on-going work of restoring the c1810 Hull House got a real boost this summer when in June the John R. Oishei Foundation responded to a request for assistance made by the Hull House Foundation. The Oishei Foundation awarded a grant of $50,000 to advance the work of returning the interior of the home to its early 19th century appearance. While the home fortunately never underwent any major changes over the life of its almost 200 year history, it still is taking considerable work to undo what changes were made over the years and reverse any deterioration.

These funds will help with masonry, plaster, carpentry, and some mechanical aspects of the work. Several interior doors must be reconstructed, as well as several walls that had been removed to make larger more 'modern' rooms at some point in the past. Cabinets for the pantry, a 'keeping room' cabinet or closet, rebuilt cellar stairs, and window splays for several windows that had to be modified in order to reverse the ravages of time are all on the 'to do' list. A great deal of plaster repair is in order as the walls and ceilings in every room in the house have suffered damage or deterioration to some degree. And the in-floor radiant heating system that will give warmth to our docents and visitors on the 'cool' days of December and January will also be accomplished with this assistance.

The Hull House Foundation has been fortunate over the past 6 years to receive considerable help from many sources – government and private. This is the first year we have been given the help of the Oishei Foundation and it comes at a propitious moment in the long process of restoration – and the Hull House Foundation is most grateful. This assistance is in keeping with the Oishei Foundations philosophy, which is to strive to be a catalyst for change to enhance economic vitality and the quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region. The Foundation was established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Products Corporation.