The Conservancy is assisting the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Staten Island as it recovers from the heavy rainfall we experienced this summer and fall. Located on scenic Lighthouse Hill, the buildings are designed to emulate a Tibetan monastery with gardens and meditation cells. This property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as it is the oldest example of Himalayan architecture in the United States. It is the culmination of the life’s work of its namesake, an intrepid woman who amassed a collection of over 5,000 pieces of art and artifacts from Tibet and the surrounding areas.
The museum is experiencing water infiltration at several locations, to the detriment of its library and collection. The City has awarded capital funding to the museum for a large project that will address both facility and programming needs. However, it is taking a long time for the funds to actually be disbursed. The Conservancy has found a preservation architect who will determine intermediate measures the museum can take to prevent water damage until the funding for the larger project comes through. An Emergency Preservation Grant from the Conservancy will fund a report from the architect.
Emergency Preservation Grants are available mainly due to the generosity of the New York Community Trust, which has recognized the Conservancy’s ability to provide technical assistance to non-profit organizations when their historic buildings are suddenly endangered. The Emergency Preservation Grants program was inaugurated in 1999; the grant to the Jacques Marchais Museum will be the program’s 78th grant.