Preserving the Building

Preserving the Building


Over the past century, the women of Sedgeley Club have been responsible for preserving the Sedgeley Club Building and restoring the lighthouse. Preservation of the building has remained at the pinnacle of our priorities for over a century.

Looking back over the last ten years, this is our record of major preservation projects; all initiated, approved and paid for by Sedgeley Club members.  Countless other projects – from maintaining the gardens to painting and plumbing have been completed every year by our own Sedgeley Club members.

2008: Ensure the foundation is stable, prevent storm water invasion during major flood eventsDSCN3963

Many of the historic boathouses along the river had noticed sinking foundations and decaying footers – creating stability problems and major safety concerns.  In 2006 the first inquiries about our building’s foundation were made to a structural engineer, followed by a site inspection at Sedgeley Club.   After researching and considering multiple proposals, by spring of 2008 Sedgeley’s Board approved a plan to fill in pockets of lost soil under the building and repair the cracked cement slab that lay between the river’s seawall and our basement.  On rare occasions when the river has crested the seawall and reached major flood stage, this cracked slab was the entry point for most of the flood water coming into the basement.  At a cost of $14,873 plus $2500 in engineering fees, the building was secured from the ground up.

2009: Replace defective windows on back porchDSCN6402

When the river side porch was enclosed in 1959 we added ten large windows.  Fifty years of use and exposure to the elements caused these windows to become loose and fragile. In late 2009 the Sedgeley Board of Governors agreed to replace the old windows with architecturally appropriate windows that were safe, energy efficient and approved by the Historical Commission.  The ten old windows became 16 new ones that complemented Arthur Brockie’s architectural plans submitted in 1902. Our cost was just under $18,000.

2009: Paint the house on the riverside

During the window renovations, severely rotted wooden trim was discovered throughout the riverside exterior. The Board approved removing and replacing the rotted trim and then painting the river side exterior of the building before the winter set in. After considering multiple bids, the painting project was approved – and completed at a cost of $10,700.

2009: A Road Map

A professional home inspection of Sedgeley Club was conducted in May of 2009.  The inspection served as a roadmap – telling us what repairs were needed, the approximate cost of each repair and the timeframe in which to complete them.  The inspection revealed a few problems posing immediate danger to the building and the people inside.  On the top of the list was the original knob and tube electrical wiring from 1910.

2010: Replace active knob and tube wiring

Still in use behind our plaster walls, and connected to modern wiring which carried a higher load of electricity, the old knob and tube wiring posed a fire hazard throughout the building.  A second and third opinion from independent electricians confirmed the problem.  In addition, the circuit box in the basement was found to be overloaded, needing updating and a good reorganization.  The Sedgeley Club Board of Governors approved a bid from an electrician who specializes in rewiring old houses in Philadelphia.  His firm came highly recommended, presented a competitive bid and agreed to make additional repairs outlined in the home inspection.  The total cost was $15,595 and all of the work was completed in early 2010.

2010: Insulation of the attic and second floorDSCN3992

After the knob and tube wiring was disconnected we were able to insulate the building.  We completed the project using an Amish firm that produced great results and brought us homemade potato chips to snack on.  The cost was $3,961 including the potato chips.  Our Treasurer was pleased to report that over the next two winters we saved more than the cost of the insulation, thanks to reduced heating oil bills.

2011 and 2012: Quiet times

During the year of 2011 and into spring of 2012, we rested.  It was quiet at Sedgeley Club except for the routine repairs and maintenance tasks expected with a 110 year old house which we were happy to complete.   The quiet times were welcomed as it gave us a chance to refill the bank account somewhat.

2012: Our front stairs

Stairs - Before

Stairs – Before

Another priority from the home inspection report was ready to be tackled over the summer of 2012.  At the front entrance to the club house, the wooden stairs and landing had soft floorboards and loose railings.  The main beams and posts supporting the structure underneath were beginning to rot. The replacement stairs and landing would have to be approved by the Historical Commission and match the original plans from Arthur Brockie’s drawings of 1902.   After working with the Commission, a plan was approved.  The new plan matched the original design specifications from 1902, yet conformed to current building and safety codes, and allowed some maintenance free material.  The cost of the project was $10,800 from concept to completion.  Volunteers from Sedgeley painted the stairs and landing to match the rest of the house.

Stairs - After

Stairs – After

Having first-hand knowledge of what it takes to maintain Sedgeley Club’s iconic building and unique lighthouse for over 110 years, and wanting to preserve them for generations to come, the Board of Governors led by Lois Krombolz, set out to form a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the historic building. With pro-bono help from a local law firm, Friends of Historic Sedgeley was created in 2012.  FHS represents a new era of sustainability for Sedgeley Club’s historic building, and opens new possibilities for raising the funds necessary to preserve it.

2014: Kitchens

Early in 2014 FHS and Sedgeley Club shared in funding two projects. The first was replacing the sink, plumbing and cabinetry in the basement kitchen, repairing the ceiling and painting the room. The second project was replacing the first floor kitchen sink, plumbing, flooring and cabinetry. Total cost for both projects came to $7,600.  

2016: New Roof, Gutters and Dormer Siding

Roof leaks were becoming more difficult to repair, and they started occurring in new areas of the house.  It was clear that our roof was failing.  After two years of fundraising, with generous help from our friends at J&L Building Supply and our roofer, Hancock Building Associates, of Malvern PA, FHS was able to complete the roof replacement project in April.  In addition to the new roof, new cedar shakes were placed on the dormer cheek walls, and brand new gutters and downspouts were installed.  The total cost of $33,000 was funded by FHS. 

2016 Collateral expenses

The LED lights that outline the boathouse had to be removed while we replaced the roof, and then had to be reinstalled.  FHS and Sedgeley Club co-funded the lighting reinstallation project which came to a total of $7,000.


You’ve seen what we’ve done over the past decade; now have a peek in to the Preservation To-Do List for the future…