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Funded Projects Query Form
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Grant number like: PF-230332-15

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National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (Washington, DC 20007-3071)
Karen L. Daly (Project Director: December 2014 to January 2018)

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
Preservation and Access

[White paper]

Totals (outright + matching):
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2015 – 9/30/2017

Installation of an Upgraded, Energy Efficient HVAC System for Dumbarton House

An implementation project to preserve a collection of furnishings, fine and decorative arts, and manuscripts at Dumbarton House, Washington, D.C.’s only house museum devoted to interpretation of the Federal period.  To protect the collections, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America would replace the house’s climate control system.

Dumbarton House tells the story of life in the City of Washington during the formation of the early republic and a new national identity.  Recent failures in the 22-year-old HVAC system demonstrate that a planned upgrade, based on a thoughtful review, not a crisis-response, is a critical institutional responsibility.  A holistic 2012 NEH Planning study has revealed that we are unable to efficiently and effectively manage the current system and we are ready to take the next steps in implementing a responsive, efficient system and operational approaches to serve Dumbarton House far better than the existing patchwork.  This project proposes the replacement and improvement of the existing climate control system in the historic house in order to better protect the collection, the historic structure, and the environment.