Monday September 20, 2004
METRO PARKS BEGINS RENOVATIONS TO HISTORIC FARNSLEY-MOREMEN HOUSE
LOUISVILLE (September 20, 2004) – An interior restoration project underway at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, is intended to give visitors a more historically accurate picture of the Farnsley-Moremen House, built in 1837. When the work is complete next spring, the home’s two floors will each reflect a different period from the site’s history. Daily tours will continue during the interior restoration; the house will probably close for about a week over the winter for installation of a new heating and cooling system.
The first floor will be interpreted to reflect the period in the 1840s when Gabriel Farnsley, who built the house, lived there as a bachelor. The second floor will reflect the 1880s, when Israel and Nannie Moremen lived there as a young married couple with small children. All of the currently displayed items that were owned by either family will remain part of the historic site's collection. Some other pieces that do not reflect one of the two appropriate periods may be taken off display.
“The Farnsley-Moremen House is a treasure located in the heart of our community’s southwest neighborhoods,” said Mayor Jerry Abramson. “This effort to re-interpret the riverfront home will give visitors a much better sense of what it would have looked like to be there well over a century ago. We chose to focus on the two periods for which we have the most information about the property.”
The work includes:
- Repainting the interior and exterior, using colors identified by nationally respected historic paint analyst Matthew Mosca during a site visit in January 2004. Mosca’s more notable projects include Louisville’s Farmington Historic Home, as well as George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.
- Reproducing a Moremen family quilt for display in the home.
- Locating and purchasing intact historic china and other ceramics similar to fragments found during archaeological work.
- Installation of a new heating and cooling system that will help preserve historic items exhibited in the house.
The work is being paid for through private funds raised by the historic property’s non-profit board, Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, Inc. The total cost of the work has not yet been determined, although it will be at least $160,000. The planning process began about a year ago. A committee of staff, board members, and outside experts is meeting regularly to review research materials and make decisions. The project is being managed by Metro Parks staff; Metro Parks began managing the city-owned property on July 1 of this year.
Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, is a 300-acre historic farm site on the Ohio River, with an 1837 home as its centerpiece. For most of the 19th Century, an active riverboat landing on the farm allowed people traveling by river to stop to trade goods, to take on boilerwood for fuel, or to rest. Today, visitors to Riverside may tour the historic home and grounds, which include a reconstructed detached kitchen, ongoing archaeological excavations, a modern Visitors Center, gardens, and a landing for the Spirit of Jefferson. Information is available at 502/935-6809 or www.riverside-landing.org.
Descendants of the Moremen family owned the property until 1988, when they sold it to Jefferson County. After extensive restoration of the house, and construction of a nearby Visitors Center, Riverside opened to the public in 1993. In 1997, the adjacent Aydelott-Rosenberger House, built around 1864, was acquired. An open-air pavilion and boat landing were added in 1999.