Kruser-Finley House at Historic Richmond Town. The flames took the roof and most of the second floor of the landmarked c. 1790 house. The structure lost its roof and was in sore need of repair. Before restoration work could begin the home needed a overhead protection to shield it from the rain and snow - a hat!On August 28, 2013, a devastating fire raged through the historic
And that's what the topless house got thanks to the generosity of the National Association of Remodeling/Home Improvement Contractors of Staten Island (NARI-HIC of Staten Island) a non-profit Trade Association of licensed and reputable contracting firms that donated their support to build the protective covering over the Kruser-Finley House.
NARI-HIC of Staten Island contributed materials, expertise, services of local, certified professionals, and most importantly, their time to build a free-standing canopy over the 234 year old house that will protect it through early spring when the restoration work can be completed. NARI-HIC of Staten Island's President, Lana Ruggiero Seidman, General Manager of Gregg Mechanical Corp., spoke about the group's involvement, "As soon as our member architect Ron Victorio brought this need to our attention, NARI-HIC offered its support. This is our community, our history and we wanted to do our part to protect it. The quality of the temporary canopy will be top notch and be beyond what the museum could afford even with its insurance.
Our Executive Director, Ed Wiseman, was amazed by the response, "The NARI-HIC called us immediately after the fire to offer help. We didn't have to reach out to them. Even before one nail has been pounded, they became our champions. The canopy they built was of better quality than anyone expected. This season we needed it with all the snow and freezing rain falling. The firefighters saved the house from fire, NARI-HIC saved it from the weather."
The NARI-HIC organization represents contractors, and supporting associate and affiliate members, who are involved in community outreach, in addition to helping consumers through a free referral service that provides advice and education for Staten Islanders seeking contractors..
The only other fire at Historic Richmond Town in recent decades was an accident. In the 1980s, the bell tower of the Third County Courthouse caught fire when it was struck by lightning, an event similar to a scene in 1985's summer blockbuster Back to the Future.
Special thanks to the Staten Island Foundation who provided additional emergency funding for the "protective hat" over the Kruser-Finley House.