John K. Manna
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
With their sweat — and money — New Castle Rotary Club members have renovated the stone fireplace kitchen at Cascade Park.
Twenty-six volunteers, all members of the New Castle Rotary Club, began working on the 79-year-old stone fireplace kitchen the last week of May and finished earlier this month.
Rotary member Ed VanDusen, who headed the project, said the project cost about $8,500.
“The Rotary paid for everything,” he said.
VanDusen said the building was built in 1934, a project of the Civil Works Administration, which was established by the New Deal during the Great Depression.
The building has been in constant use, he said, “but it has been falling apart.”
Water around the foundation had caused the bottom of the walls to rot. As a result, 16 feet of the building all around the chimney had to be torn down, VanDusen said.
The renovation included new studs and siding, new rafters, two new windows, two new doors, a new roof and cleaning and repair of loose mortar joints of the 20-foot-high chimney. Plus, the entire building was painted.
VanDusen commended those who worked on the project, both men and women, saying “Rotarians are good workers.”
The building is a food preparation area with counters and multiple electric outlets for coffee pots, roasters and large serving counters that can used for buffets.
The stone fireplace kitchen is the latest in a number of projects the Rotary has undertaken at Cascade Park in recent years.
“We made Cascade Park a project area,” VanDusen said.
Two years ago, the Rotary refurbished the old stone entrance, cleaning the stone. The Rotarians put a new roof on the guard house and painted the carousel building.
They also built a gazebo at the falls outlook and installed 200 feet of fence to prevent children from falling over the cliff, he said.
VanDusen said that for the next project the Rotary would like to get a splash pad for the park.
Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo, a Rotarian who also worked on the restoration, said, “The Rotary has been really generous with their time and money. This is one project we (the city) just couldn’t afford to do. We really appreciate their efforts.”