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Grant number like: PF-50079-10

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Newport Mansions (Newport, RI 02840-6924)
Charles Jeffers Moore (Project Director: December 2009 to August 2011)

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
Preservation and Access

[White paper]

$27,848 (approved)
$27,848 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2010 – 4/30/2011

Feasibility Study for the Use of Geothermal Climate Modification at The Breakers

A planning project to explore the use of geothermal energy to improve interior environmental conditions for a collection of Gilded Age art and furnishings located in The Breakers.

The Preservation Society of Newport County requests NEH funding in the amount of $27,848 to assist with a planning study for a potential geothermal application of climate modification at The Breakers, the Society's signature property. Collections endure poor climate conditions, especially during the summer when humidity is very high and outside temperatures soar. Dehumidification and air circulation or cooling are required for the collections. Painted and gilded surfaces and fragile textiles are especially susceptible. The project will be based on an earlier study which determined that a bedrock aquifer is on The Breakers site. To determine if this is a viable source of water for a geothermal climate application, a geologist and engineer will work with the society's team and a drilling company to drill a test well, line it with steel casing, and allow a 72-hour flow to determine the water quality and flow rate. This is a "green project," which will use an untapped source for climate modification.