An intense tropically influenced storm dropped a record amount of rainfall in the region, which caused flooding and extensive damage at Philipsburg Manor, nearly undermining two of the most important historic treasures on the site, the Manor House and the Mill House. Huskie Engineering was retained to plan, design, and administer the construction contract for extensive site restoration and mitigation measures. The photos below were taken as flood waters receded. (See Page 2 for restoration and mitigation measures.)

 Philipsburg Manor Flood Restoration and Mitigation

HUSKIE ENGINEERING                    Project Profile     

 

Philipsburg Manor is an important 18th-century historic preservation property situated along the Pocantico River in Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, NY. The site is a popular tourist attraction, educational resource, and National Historic Landmark. Philipsburg Manor is owned and operated by Historic Hudson Valley. The Pocantico River, which is tributary to the Hudson River, courses through the site and is segmented by a dam and foot bridge that were constructed in the 1960’s. The ponds on the upstream and downstream sides of the dam provide for a scenic open-water focal point in the landscape. At the north end of the dam, immediately adjacent to the ponds, is the historic core, which includes the meticulously restored early 18th-century Manor House and the recreated Mill House with grist mill. The Visitors’ Center is located at the south end of the dam.

Photo viewing along the downstream side of the dam. The Mill House (brown) is situated at the north edge of the Lower Pond. The Manor House (white) sets back a bit and is close to the Upper Pond. Photo taken post restoration.

(Left) Flood waters breached and eroded a deep channel through the embankment in the historic core between the Manor House and the Mill House. Erosion exposed and nearly undermined the foundations. (Below) Flood waters rush between the Manor House and Mill House washing away the historic landscape and nearly wiping out the Mill House. 

(Left) Upstream debris washed down and accumulated on the dam and footbridge causing a further rise in water level. Severe erosion occurred around both ends of the dam. (Right) Mill wheel inundated by flood waters. Flood damage included the destruction of old stones walls and utilities.

Philipsburg Manor Flood Restoration and Mitigation

HUSKIE ENGINEERING                                        

Flooding caused extensive damage to the landscape and utilities at both ends of the dam at Philipsburg Manor. The flood waters destroyed stone walls, drainage facilities, and electric, telephone and security conduits. Damage to the electrical power and control wiring for the underground  low-flow pump recirculation system was also sustained.

 

One of the most devastating effects of the storm was that the unique character of the historic core landscape at Philipsburg Manor was completely washed away. This posed some unique challenges for restoring the site to original condition.

 

In addition to designing re-creation/restoration measures, the owner requested that measures be included for reducing the potential for future flood erosion damage.

Huskie Engineering evaluated and presented various concepts and alternatives for consideration by the owner. After selecting the preferred alternative, Huskie continued with environmental impact assessment, design and construction documents, and administering the construction contract. Environmental assessment documents satisfied local and state SEQR requirements.  Services also included permit applications, securing project approvals, and making presentations at public meetings. Careful coordination and attention to detail were key factors for successful completion.

HUSKIE ENGINEERING                   

HUSKIE ENGINEERING                   

Philipsburg Manor Flood Restoration and Mitigation

(Left and Right) Restoration of the historic core landscape between the Mill House and Manor House (north end of dam). Not visible is an underground protective stabilized channel designed and constructed to help limit the extent of potential future flood erosion damage.

HUSKIE ENGINEERING                   

The two photos above show the stream bank and flood mitigation measures that were designed and constructed for the south side of the dam where flood waters had washed-out the walkway leading to the footbridge. Flood erosion had exposed the wing and anchor walls for the dam. As part of the mitigation measures, a large reinforced concrete semi-circular arched by-pass culvert was constructed around the south end of the dam. Photo at left shows the overflow-bypass structure on the upstream side of the dam. Photo at right shows the culvert termination treatment and end wall on the downstream side of the dam.

Philipsburg Manor Flood Restoration and Mitigation

(Above) Photo showing embankment and landscape restorations, viewing from south to north along the upstream side of the dam. (Below) Pond bank restoration in the historic core between the Manor House and the Mill House. Not visible is an underground concrete protection wall for the Manor House foundation.

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