Removal begins at Kaminski House

  • Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Taylor Griffith/South Strand News From left, Mayor Jack Scoville, Friends of the Kaminski House member Frankie Hills and Rep. Carl Anderson remove the ceremonial first brick at the Kaminski House. The removal marks the beginning of the construction on the museum.

A crowd of nearly 50 gathered at the Kaminski House Museum Aug. 21, to celebrate the beginning of construction on the outer façade of the building, which has been causing damage to the historic home and museum.

The Friends of the Kaminski House and guests, including Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill, gathered to watch the ceremonial removal of the first brick.

A brick façade was added to three outer sides of the home in the 1940s. Since then, mold, mildew and peeling paint have emerged. Construction professionals and architects alike, have identified the brick as the problem.

After two years of examining the property, getting approvals and raising money, the Friends of the Kaminski House is removing the brick, and preparing itself for what its might find underneath the brick.

“I can’t wait to see it come down. We have no idea what’s under there,” said museum Executive Director Robin Gabriel.

She said phase one of the project is to simply take the brick down. Phase two will be dealing with whatever damage the removal may reveal.

Friends of the Kaminski House Board of Directors President Elaine Waddell said $140,000 to $150,000 is earmarked for the project.

She named Santee Cooper Electric, the North Easter Strategic Alliance and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History as some of the biggest financial supporters.

McGill spoke at the event, and presented a check for $2,000 from Georgetown County to Waddell during the ceremony.

“Generations from now, it will be written that the City of Georgetown knows how to preserve and protect its historical locations and family history for the future,” the lieutenant governor said.

“A lot of this funding is federal, so every level of government has become involved in this,” said Nathan Kaminski, a member of the Friends of Kaminski House Board of Directors and nephew to Julia Kaminski, the previous owner of the home who willed the property to the city.

“It’s kind of like reality TV, we have no idea what will happen with the construction and what this will do for our city.”

The construction team is meeting with the museum this week, Gabriel said, and from there, a timeline will be formed. She said the overall goal is to finish the work by Sept. 31.

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