National Park Service, Glenmont Garage

Henry Adams provided MEP engineering input for the compilation of a historic structure report. The evaluation covered the mechanical, heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical service and distribution, branch circuits, wiring, lighting control, emergency lighting, telecom/data wiring, and fire alarm.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is situated in the township of West Orange, New Jersey, approximately 15 miles west of New York City.  The Park campus consists of three separate areas as follows: Laboratory Complex, Building 35, and Glenmont Estate. The Glenmont Garage is a 2-story concrete structure and was constructed in 1908 by Thomas Edison on his estate in Llewellyn Park. The foundation walls, floor, roof slabs, parapet, and decorative features are all constructed of reinforced concrete. Classical decorative detail, such as pilasters and parapets, were part of the original concrete mold. The garage housed the family automobiles in the first story and quarters for the chauffeur in the second story. Presently, the park currently uses the building for many purposes such as the exhibit of historic automobiles, storage of collections and non-collections, and the storage of maintenance equipment, and office space.

Most of the mechanical systems in the garage were at or near the ends of their expected useful lives and will be due for replacement within the next five years. Replacement options for indoor heating and cooling provisions included two possibilities for maintaining a system similar to that presently installed while another option called for the installation of a system that would provide air conditioning to the second floor. However, options for air conditioning of the first floor were not considered as the Park previously expressed concern over the visual impact the addition of such a system would have upon the historic garage space.

Similarly, the electrical systems in the garage were at or near the ends of their expected useful lives and will be due for replacement within the next five years. However, most of the work required was considered straightforward with no significant alternatives to consider. For example, the historic ceiling and wall-mounted luminaires on the first floor of the garage were damaged and in disrepair.  One of the wall mounted fixtures was missing. Henry Adams made the recommendation to refurbish and rewire the historic lighting to meet current codes and to provide a replacement replica of the missing wall mounted luminaire.

Additional Information:

LocationWest Orange, NY
Completion Date
OwnerNational Park Service
ArchitectGWWO, Inc./Architects
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