Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn visited Washington Crossing Historic Park to celebrate completion of an $8.7 million project to preserve and improve 17 historic and other structures at the park in Bucks County.
“Protecting the cultural and historical significance of these buildings at Washington Crossing is integral to continuing the site’s historic legacy,” Dunn said. “This park has immense value in educating the public and enriching experiences related to the birth of this nation. We are grateful to the Department of General Services for supporting this project on public lands and look forward to seeing the impact the renovations will have for years to come.”
The 500-acre park that lies along the Delaware River preserves the site of George Washington’s dramatic boat crossing during the American Revolution.
A National Historic Landmark, it has an upper and a lower section. Together they include historic buildings that provides context and insight into living conditions during the Revolutionary era.
“The Department of General Services strives to ensure that the agencies we work for, and with, are able to realize their goals and desires when it comes to the projects that we manage for them,” said Mike Hudzik, Director of Capital Projects Construction for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. “Thanks to our collaborative efforts with DCNR, we were able to assist them in restoring and creating an appealing, relaxing and educational outdoor space for those who live in and visit Bucks County.
The following buildings were included in the project:
- McConkey’s Ferry Inn: new roof, window and door restoration, masonry, HVAC, exterior;
- Mahlon Taylor residence: new roof, window and door restoration, interior, exterior;
- Amos Taylor residence: new roof, window and door restoration, electric, exterior;
- Frederick Taylor House: window and door restoration, plumbing, exterior;
- Elmer Buckman residence: new roof, window and door restoration, electric, exterior;
- Eliza Taylor residence: new roof, window and door restoration, interior, exterior;
- Hibbs House: new roof; window and door restoration, masonry, plumbing, interior, exterior;
- Frye House: new roof, window and door restoration, interior, exterior;
- Andrassy House: new roof, window and door restoration, interior, exterior;
- Taylorsville General Store: new roof, window and door restoration, interior, exterior;
- Oliver Taylor residence: new roof, window and door restoration, exterior;
- Thompson Neely House: new roof, window and door restoration, masonry, HVAC, exterior;
- Thompson Neely Restroom: plumbing, electric, interior;
- Blacksmith Shop: new roof, exterior;
- General Washington Pavilion: new roof, masonry repairs;
- General Washington Bathhouse: new plumbing; and
- Bowman’s Hill Tower: parking lot and road improvements.
Attendance at Washington Crossing Historic Park was nearly 686,000 visits in 2021, which remains higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Washington Crossing became Pennsylvania’s 121st state park in February 2016 when it was transferred to DCNR from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
“The project, which rehabilitated 17 historic and other structures throughout the park, has been a long time coming and I am thrilled to celebrate its completion today,” state Senator Steve Santarsiero said. “This project would not have been possible without the persistence and hard work of the Friends of Washington Crossing, who came to me nearly four years ago when this project was in jeopardy due to a lack of funding. I was happy to work with DGS and DCNR to help find the additional funds needed to preserve these buildings that help tell the story of a critical part of our nation’s history for generations to come.”
Opportunities for recreation at Washington Crossing include river access for fishing; walking trails; and pavilions for picnicking.
The park and the Friends of Washington Crossing provide historical and environmental education programs, as well as hosting special events and re-enactments.
“By improving the historical buildings at Washington Crossing Historic Park, this project enhances both the Park and the Washington Crossing residential and business district,” State Representative Perry Warren said.