Every year, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty gives back to local communities by supporting worthwhile organizations, projects or charities through the Rand Community Fund. This year, Rand Realty’s Warwick office chose Florida’s Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration Project as the beneficiary of their generous commitment to public service. Three wonderful events coordinated by the Warwick office raised $2,727 towards the Restoration’s New York State Historic Preservation Matching Grant. The monies raised will essentially be doubled when the organization reaches its fundraising goal.
Rand Realty’s Sweet Onion Brewhouse fundraiser on a July evening featured live music and bartending by Rand and Hudson United staffers, who donated all of their tips to the organization. The Brewhouse itself donated a percentage of the night’s earnings to the non-profit organization and provided the perfect venue from which to view the historic site that is right across the street. In early September, the realtor’s Warwick office hosted a unique “Rand-tiques Roadshow” with appraisers from William J. Jenack Auctioneers and Estate Appraisers. Later that month, at Applefest, they raised even more money for Seward/Mapes with gift basket raffles.
“The Village of Florida greatly appreciates all of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s efforts on behalf of our historic site,” said Florida Mayor Jim Pawliczek.
Roger Dowd, President of the Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee, seconded the Mayor’s comment and added, “the Warwick office really went above and beyond in conceiving and orchestrating the events. We could not have wished for a more generous sponsor.”
As for Florida’s historic Mapes house, master roofer Wayne Coleman is on the job, along with Tom Mance and a crew of carpenters. Between the Alaskan yellow cedar shakes, copper gutters and other details, the magnificence of the original Queen Anne style Victorian will become much more apparent in the next few weeks. Weather permitting, the job should be completed by the end of November. After then, The Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee will welcome volunteers to join them in winterizing and prepping the site for the next phase of construction.
The Seward/Mapes Homestead presents a rare opportunity in historic preservation to focus on the lives and accomplishments of two men deeply engaged in the American Civil War on different levels: William Henry Seward as Secretary of State in the Lincoln Administration, and William E. Mapes, as a Union soldier in an illustrious volunteer regiment that fought in many horrific battles from Manassas Gap to Appomattox. The organization welcomes new members who share a passion for history and historic preservation. The organization’s website is www.sewardhomestead.org.