MOUND HOUSE UPDATE FROM ALISON GIESEN, DIRECTOR, CULTURE, PARKS, and RECREATION
Above is the Mound House site immediately after Hurricane Ian devastated our area. The good news is all the damages that occurred to the Mound House are repairable and the site will eventually reopen. The original Historical Architect, Paul Palmer, visited the site after the storm and assessed all the buildings and historical structures to create specifications for necessary repairs to maintain the historical integrity of the structures.
All the items from the Case living room are safe and have been relocated to off-site storage until the museum reopens. Even though Town Hall was extensively damaged, the archaeological collections were safe and transferred to an off-site facility.
Water levels in the kayak shed were recorded at just below 8 feet. Everything on the ground level was damaged due to the salt water but the structure did not suffer major damage.
The 1921 Garage/ Office building had approximately 7 inches of water but no major structural damage. Within 5 weeks after the storm the Mound House was electrified, and water service restored. Efforts are now underway to repair the electrical systems and HVAC systems that were damaged due to the storm.
The grounds received minimal damage and once all the debris is removed the staff will focus on repairing the perimeter gates, pier, dock and native landscape gardens. Our beloved Strangler Fig is thriving and did not suffer damage during the storm.
Unfortunately, the cottage at Newton Beach Park, Seven Seas, was washed away during the Hurricane. The park is currently being used as a sand sifting site so that sand can be cleaned and relocated to expedite the reopening of the beaches.
Shortly after the Hurricane, all staff were reassigned to Community Resource Centers (CRC) to serve the immediate needs of the Fort Myers Beach community. In the beginning there were three CRC's, one at Times Square, one at Beach Baptist and one at Santini Plaza. There are still 2 CRC's currently open and are operational 7 days a week 24 hours a day. These centers provide water, MRE's, donations, shower facilities, ice, laundry and restrooms to all residents. The staff from the Culture, Parks and Recreation Department work the information table, 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm to ensure all questions about the recovery process are answered and the community receive the resources they need. The town has been so fortunate of all the organizations that have donated items and resources to the community during this time of need.
We all look forward to welcoming you back to the Mound House in 2023 and we will keep you posted on the progress.