Construction

Artist’s rendering of the finished building, as viewed from the street. Courtesy of Allan Shope.

Environmental Considerations

In 2010, the Hudson River Maritime Museum and much of the Hudson Valley was hit by extreme flooding from Hurricane Irene. Located right next to Rondout Creek, HRMM received over a foot of water in the lower part of the museum (thankfully no collections were affected) and the entire museum yard was completely submerged. Museum staff watched as scores of floating pumpkins and other agricultural detritus from flooded out Ulster County farms floated past. When the water receded, it left several inches of thick gray silt.

The location of HRMM along the creek leaves it vulnerable to flooding each year, so when the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. and HRMM decided to partner in building the Kingston Home Port and Education Center, the risk of flooding was taken into account in formulating architectural plans for the building.

Artist’s rendering of the finished building as viewed from Rondout Creek. Courtesy of Allan Shope.

Designed by architect and the sloop Clearwater Board Chair Allan Shope, the Kingston Home Port and Education Center is designed to withstand flooding. The building sits on a concrete slab supported by concrete-filled steel pylons driven down 80 feet into the river bottom. In the event that flooding caused some surface erosion of the soil, the building would not be affected structurally.

There is a three foot concrete sill/knee wall all the way around the building connected directly to the footings. This ensures that the wooden support beams will not rot in the event of flooding. In addition, the open floor plan of the building allows for easy cleanup in the event a flood should deposit sediment or other debris.

HRMM and the sloop Clearwater would also like to install solar panels on the roof of the building to power electricity for lighting, displays, and any power tools necessary in wooden boat restoration and repair. HRMM’s museum building is already in the process of getting solar installed and would like to extend that same project to the boat center. Monetary and/or in-kind donations for solar panels and installation are greatly appreciated. Please click here to donate (designate for “Boat Barn”).

Construction Materials

The Kingston Home Port and Education Center is a timber framed building built in the traditional post and beam barn style (causing many volunteers and staff to give it the affectionate title of “boat barn”). Constructed with specially milled red oak and iroko wood, the building is 64 feet tall by 36 feet wide. Much of the wood was donated and collected by volunteers from enormous trees felled by the winds of Hurricane Irene.

Construction Details

Steel pylons filled with concrete and rebar were driven 80 feet into the river bottom. Concrete footings connected to the pylons with rebar will be poured around the perimeter of the building. Once the footings are in place, a concrete sill/knee wall will be formed and poured connected directly to the footings. This sill/knee wall will rise 3 feet above the grade of the land around the building. At this time, any doorways will also be framed. Once the sill/knee wall is poured and cured and the soil underneath graded, the concrete slab will be poured.

Once the slab and all other concrete has cured, work will begin on the wooden part of the structure. A post-and-beam design, the “boat barn” will be supported by huge wooden columns and trusses. Post-and-beam walls will be constructed on the ground, then raised and secured in an Amish-style barn raising (September 15th-16th, 2012).

Siding and shingles will be of natural cedar and trim and doors will be painted a dark green.

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