Selecting a New Life for Historic Ellmore Farmhouse

Park Authority welcomes comments on curator applications.

The Fairfax County Park Authority announced it is asking the public to submit comments in writing by Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, regarding the two applications under review for its Resident Curator Program at the historic Ellmore Farmhouse, 2739 West Ox Road in Herndon. Curators are determined through an open and competitive application process, based on several criteria, including a formal proposal, demonstrated experience, competency in historic preservation techniques, financial capabilities, and the incorporation of public benefits. Completed applications can be viewed online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resident-curator-program/ellmore.

The Evaluation Team will hold a meeting open to the public concerning the applications on Thursday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. in the Park Authority boardroom, 9th floor of the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, but there will be no opportunity for public comment at that time.

In the first of the two cover letters and completed applications sent to Stephanie Langton, resident curator program manager, Applicant #1 stated: "We have been coming to Frying Pan Farm Park for more than a decade with our four children. ...We would enjoy the opportunity to make the Ellmore Farmhouse a place where children can learn and play again. Our children, much like the Ellmore and Smith children, have had the opportunity to spend time learning about farming and caring for animals through the 4-H... Living in the Ellmore Farmhouse would allow us more time to learn and share with others about the original families and animals that lived here on this property."

Regarding skills, Applicant #1 stated: "I do not have any specialized skills in historic preservation projects outside of the general remodeling and construction skills I have learned over the years doing projects on the houses I have lived in... I am a Mechanical Engineer working in Aerospace... On a daily basis, I am required to pay attention to details, follow strict standards, and know the requirements of a task prior to acting on it."

In the other cover letter and completed application, Applicant #2 stated: "After rehabilitation and renovations are completed, ServiceSource proposes using the Ellmore Farmhouse as a "launchpad" for one of our Long-Term and Community Integration Services (LTCIS) programs. A group of approximately 15 people with disabilities and staff will gather at the Ellmore Farmhouse from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday... ServiceSource has a 47-year history of providing high-quality, innovative programming in Northern Virginia. ln FY 2018, we served more than 4,000 people with disabilities through long-term and community integration services, senior services, employment supports, and other services."

Regarding skills, Applicant #2 stated: "To rehabilitate and renovate this historic property, ServiceSource has selected Pizzano Contractors as a partner for this project...Pizzano Contractors was an early adopter in the "Green Building" movement and continues to demonstrate leadership in this area...Pizzano Contractors continue to include LEED design and best practices in their projects… Additionally, Pizzano Contractors has extensive experience in renovating historic properties, including former residences, for modern times-a major asset for the Ellmore Farmhouse project."

According to the Park Authority, the farmhouse is a two-story, 3,300-square-foot property within Frying Pan Farm Park. Members of the Ellmore family occupied the two-story, 12 room home for more than 50 years, operating a productive dairy farm there through 1945. In February 2001, the Park Authority purchased the property for inclusion within Frying Pan Farm Park. The Resident Curator Program provides the opportunity for individuals, nonprofit and for-profit organizations to secure long-term lease agreements in beautiful public park settings. The curator leases are without charge in exchange for a financial commitment towards approved rehabilitation of the Park Authority's underutilized historic properties.

For additional information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resident-curator-program. Or contact Stephanie Langton, manager of the Resident Curator Program, at 703-324-8791. Web: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/park-news/2018/z-ir126.

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