Long-awaited Perkins House rebuild underway

A photo of the construction fence around Perkins House.
Construction fence around Perkins House. Photo courtesy of Linda Rafuse.
Ed Halverson - QCCR - LiverpoolNS | 10-08-2020

An iconic cornerstone of Liverpool is about to undergo a complete overhaul.

The province is investing $1.5 million to restore Perkins House museum.

The site has been closed to the public since May 2015.

Queens County Museum Director Linda Rafuse says the effort began after staff reported hairline cracks in the walls to the department of transportation and infrastructure renewal.

“They thought it best to bring in some structural engineers, who then went through it and said it was probably best to close it down and at some point, when money was available, to address the structural issues,” says Rafuse.

She went on to say after restoring Province House several years ago, the Nova Scotia government decided they would also restore one of the province’s heritage houses.

“And that was just music to our ears,” according to Rafuse. “That Perkins House was chosen to be the example.”

The house was built for merchant and civic-leader Simeon Perkins in 1766.

As with any house of that age, time, and renovations by previous owners have taken their toll.

Rafuse says initially, the museum board had hoped to get enough funding to do the work necessary to allow Perkins House to reopen.

She says meetings with TIR and the department of communities, culture and heritage exceeded their wildest hopes.

“I remember them saying, the complete restoration will make it look like the first day that Simeon Perkins walked into his new home,” says Rafuse.

In March, a tender for $275,965.00 was awarded to Architecture 49 to complete the design work necessary to renovate the building.

A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia department of transportation and infrastructure renewal says Mid Valley Construction was awarded the contract on July 15, 2020 for $1,223,700.00 to restore The Perkins House Museum.

Keen-eyed observers will notice fencing is going up and the site is being prepared for work to begin.

TIR expects to see substantial completion of the project 37 weeks from the award.

Residents can expect to see the work finished sometime in Spring 2021.

Reported by Ed Halverson 
E-mail: edhalversonnews@gmail.com
Twitter: @edwardhalverson