Parkwood received a fund-matching grant from the National Cost-sharing Program for National Historic Sites, to assist with the replacement of the c. 1917 main electrical panel. This support is also related to 2017 (our 100th birthday and Canada’s 150th), and we look forward to starting the next 100 years in the best shape possible. An electrical panel is far less beautiful or dramatic than a greenhouse restoration, previously announced with a fund matching grant investment from the federal government—but it will ensure reliable electrical service for years to come as well as safer conditions for staff and electricians. We should mention that the c. 1917 electrical panel is a popular feature of basement tours, and some would argue that it is indeed an extraordinary and beautiful thing.
It is also a highlight of the firefighter orientation Parkwood does as part of our disaster preparedness training program with the City of Oshawa Fire Services, annually. Replacement plans will allow the original panel to be abandoned in place, with power channeled through a new panel nearby. Our preference is always to retain original elements for their interpretive value and rarity.
Watch for additional blogging material as we upgrade our electrical systems and the work our heritage architects, electrical advisors, Curator and Executive Director have in coming weeks as we debate and figure out what is preserved and maintained moving forward.