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Rockefeller 'cottage' getting facelift

POSTED: October 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) _ The imposing Jekyll Island cottage that served as a winter getaway home for oil tycoon William Rockefeller in the early 20th century is getting a needed facelift.

Work on a $200,000 restoration of the former Rockefeller home, known as Indian Mound, began in June and is scheduled to be finished by spring, said Gretchen Greminger, curator of the Jekyll Island Museum.

Crews are replacing worn segments of the roof, gutters and bedroom windows, as well as touching up paint inside.

"Old houses are just like old ladies," said Greminger. "You've got to give them some TLC to keep them looking pretty."

Indian Mound is the most famous of the 19 cottages build on the Georgia barrier island when it was as an exclusive retreat for some of America's wealthiest industrialists before the state bought the island in 1947.

Describing these homes as "cottages" is somewhat misleading. The Rockefeller cottage, built in 1892, has three floors and 25 rooms.

Indian Mound, purchased by Rockefeller in 1904, has been closed to tours since the restoration project began in June. The interior work has required Greminger's staff to protect the home's collection of antiques and artifacts by moving them from room to room.

Greminger said the first stage of the work, focusing on the upstairs, should be done by the end of October.

It's the first time Indian Mound has been spruced up in more than a decade. Even after the spring completion date, there will likely be more work to do, said Eric Garvey, spokesman for the Jekyll Island Authority, which operated the island.

"Although the work being done on Indian Mound isn't a massive project, you have to constantly maintain these historic homes to keep them in good shape," Garvey said. "If you don't, you're looking at one big project after another, instead of smaller projects."

 

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