BENEFITING: BANNERMANS CASTLE TRUST INC
SAVE BANNERMAN ISLAND!
One Thousand feet off the east shore of the Hudson River, lays the majestic ruins of Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island, locally known as Bannerman Island. Millions of travelers on the Metro North and Amtrak trains pass the mysterious island every day on their way to and from New York City. Francis Bannerman IV built the castle as a warehouse to store his ever expending collection of military equipment from the Spanish American and Civil Wars. Bannerman was the father of the Army Navy store. Francis Bannerman and Sons, was located at 501 Broadway in New York City till 1959 when they closed the both store and the island arsenal and move the business to Blue Point Long Island. Bannerman produced the famous “Frances Bannerman and Sons Military Catalogue” which was printed for 100 years and is still the best resource for military equipment. In 1969, a great fire ravaged the castle and burned for three days leaving an artistic shell. Due to lack of funds, the structures were left to deteriorate. In 1993, The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. (BCT) was formed to save Bannerman Castle. The BCT has come a long way to preserve Bannerman Island and its unique castle ruins.
The Good news is that BCT has completed Phase One of the Bannerman Family Residence Stabilization Project. The residence was an abandoned shell of its former shelf, with no roof, floors or windows. Poison ivy, trees and debris littered the interior. With the help of an Environmental Protection Fund Grant and private donors, the BCT has replaced the roof and installed a new floor system, along with new masonry inside the structure. The BCT volunteers have reclaimed the historic Bannerman trails and have restored Helen Bannerman’s gardens. The island is open for Hard Hat Discovery Tours onboard Hudson River Adventures motor vessel, The Pollepel, every Saturday and Sunday from May through October.
Bannerman Castle was recently featured in the 2011 block buster movie, “Transformers, Dark of the Moon”, where it had a featured cameo toward the end of the movie. (The castle was also used as a back drop in Alfred Hitchcock’s , “North by North West”)
The Bad news is that in the winter of 2010, we lost two and a half walls of the iconic Tower building. This was a devastating blow and requires immediate intervention to keep the remaining walls from further collapse. Funding is always an issue, especially in a struggling economy.
The BCT has hired the NYC architect firm of Jan, Hird and Pokorny to design the emergency stabilization of the main castle structures on Bannerman Island. The stabilization will prove to be a tricky, high wire act, because no one can safely go inside the collapsed structures before they are stabilized. In order to stabilize the ruins, the contractors must employ a 200 foot crane perched on a barge sitting on the edge of the island. Workers must perform the stabilization from above the buildings using cables and metal bands to secure the structures. After this work is performed, the architects and engineers can safely enter the buildings to access the needs for a permanent stabilization for the buildings.
The Cost to stabilize the entire complex will be in the millions. (The ruins of the Small Pox Hospital on Roosevelt Island were recently stabilized for 4.5 million dollars. The site is opening as public park.) The BCT plans to raise the funds in phases, so that we can effectively raise the funds needed to Save Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island.
You can help by supporting our cause. Since the BCT is new to Crowdwise and online fundraising, we are only looking to raise $20,000. to help support the design for the Phase One Emergency Stabilization of the main structures on Bannerman Island. If everyone were to donate a minimum of $10, we could Save Bannerman Castle. The trick is that you have to donate $10, then, ask 10 of your friends to donate $10 and tell 10 of their friends to do the same.
Without stabilization, Bannerman Castle will continue to crumble quickly. There is still time and although we lost some of the Tower. There is a lot to see and save on Bannerman Island. Help us preserve this unique Hudson River Landmark for our children and their children’s children.
Please support our fundraiser. For more information about how you can help. Go to our website at www.bannermancastle.org.