Remove retaining wall in front of Dean House (HS-13) and add staff use gate between Dean and Brown Lots
A post Lincoln-era brick retaining wall in front of the Dean House (HS-13) is deteriorating rapidly. It is currently used by visitors and locals as a convenient seating area but the bricks are spalling, the mortar is falling out, and the general integrity of the wall is failing necessitating removal for safety. The wall was installed in the early 1900s. According to the park Cultural Landscape Plan (2014), the wall should be removed, and a fence similar to the others in the neighborhood installed. A picket fence with approximately 3' tall x 2" square pickets will be installed on the east (front) side and approximately 1/3 of both the north and south sides. A plain vertical board fence will remain on the rest of the north and south sides. The new fence will be similar to the current fence, just taller. A gate will not be installed because the Dean House is used as a public exhibition space and a gate might impede access. New seating equipment will be considered in the area to replace the wall's use as a seating area.
In addition, a gate will be installed approximately 50' east from the alley in the south vertical board fence. It will be built to blend in with the fence. This gate will also only have a hasp on the Brown lot/south side to prevent visitors from using it on a general basis from the Dean lot side where visitors can walk freely. This gate is needed for Living History staff to access water from the Dean garden area to carry to the Brown lot for summer programs on doing laundry. Due to the low level of use, there will not be a boardwalk installed, again to prevent visitors from using it.
The front wall area has been heavily disturbed due to the installation and periodic repair of the wall over nearly 100 years. The gate along the south lot line is in an area that was surveyed in 2007 by Fever River Research.
Eric Turner, 217-391-3230