Tryon Palace had its share of Hurricane Florence water damage, but the city’s top tourist attraction will reopen the Palace and grounds on a somewhat limited basis beginning Saturday and Sunday.
The North Carolina History Center, 529 S. Front St., has repairs to be made and an announcement about it will be made soon.
The storm also postponed or forced cancellation of no less than a dozen events.
For now, tickets will be available at the Waystation – corner of Pollock and George streets across from the main Palace gates.
Plans are to reopen the Stanly House by Tuesday, with the Dixon House date to be announced.
This weekend, the Palace, grounds, kitchen and museum shop will be open. There will be a revised Palace tour.
Joining the public in the recovery, the Palace has also started a Hurricane Florence Recovery fund, through the Tryon Palace Foundation.
From the Palace web site – “As a result of Hurricane Florence, the community has rallied to ask how it can help support one of the state’s cultural and historic resources, and we are humbled by your generosity.
“(The recovery fund) will be used to help Tryon Palace recover and remain a beacon of New Bern’s strength. Additionally, a percentage of all funds received by the Tryon Palace Foundation will be donated to local charities helping the New Bern and Eastern North Carolina communities recover from this devastating storm.”
Go to the Palace website to donate.
The Palace also gave this recount about the storm.
“In the days immediately following the storm, staff returned to the site to assess the extent of the damage left in Florence’s wake. Having had the opportunity to safely investigate the historic homes, gardens, and the North Carolina History Center, staff has been able to identify the best way to help the site recover from the storm.
“I’m so grateful to the staff who prepared our building for the storm,” said Bill McCrea, executive director. “They were responsible for minimizing damage to our important artifact collection. The security staff that stayed through the storm was exceptional. We are working hard to reopen soon and be a gathering place for New Bernians who need a respite from their own cleanup work. As a centerpiece of downtown New Bern, our reopening will be another signal that New Bern is open for business.”
The Tryon Palace gardens were able to weather the storm with minimal damage.
“Our bee hives and winter annuals in our nursery yard safely withstood the storm,” said Hadley Cheris, Gardens and Greenhouse Manager. “We lost quite a few trees across the site, but were fortunate that most of the gardens were left only with debris and not damage.”
Gardens and Greenhouse staff have been back on site since early this week, clearing the grounds of debris and making plans for the autumn mum displays for which Tryon Palace is known. “Our gardens staff has been remarkable and already handled most of the large limbs that fell. We are continuing to cleanup leaf and limb debris throughout our historic side.”
In the immediate future, the gardens staff will continue to assess how to best handle landscape issues left in the wake of the storm, and parts of the site will require outside contractor work to ensure their complete recovery and safety. Most of the historic gardens will be reopened this weekend, and while they may be open to the public and will be safe for visitors, they sustained a lot of damage from the hurricane, and may not be as picturesque as visitors expect.
Tryon Palace staff asks that you have patience while staff regroups to return the gardens to their former beauty.
The Gardens staff is looking for volunteers to help assist with hurricane recover, and anyone interested in volunteering can contact Hadley Cheris at email@example.com.
The historic homes and buildings all saw small amounts of water damage caused by leaks from wind-driven rain.
The Governor’s Palace sustained limited water damage contained to the walls. The historic homes sustained various minor damages like broken windows and torn-off shutters, which contributed to water intrusion.
Staff are working hard to repair these damages and the secondary damages caused to collections items within the homes.
“Museum collections fared well in the storm,” said Alyson Rhodes-Murphy, Director of Collections.
Prior to the storm, staff spent much time packing, moving, and covering collections across the Tryon Palace complex. Exterior and interior shutters on the historic buildings helped provide protection from the wind.
“Only a few collection objects received any damage, which can be repaired in house by staff conservator, Richard Baker.
The one surprising incident was the damage to a crystal chandelier in the Stanly House that was caused by an acorn blown by the high winds through a broken window.”
The North Carolina History Center saw unprecedented flooding, with water from the Trent River reaching the doors.
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SOURCE: New Bern Sun Journal