Schifferstadt basement water problems fixed with help from ADC, Ausherman Family Foundation

A problem with water in the basement floors and walls at the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum in Frederick has been fixed thanks to work by the Ausherman Properties’ Ausherman Development Corporation (ADC) and funding from the Ausherman Family Foundation.

The water infiltration into the basement was potentially compromising the structural integrity of the historic German stone house, which was built around 1758. The problem had been worsened by groundhogs that had burrowed into and nearby the basement, as well as ground erosion at the back of the house, said Melanie Gettier, the administrator of the nonprofit Frederick County Landmarks Foundation (FCLF), which operates Schifferstadt.

The basement houses the summer kitchen and root cellar, as well as displays of historic tools, and is an important part of tours given of the house.

The grounds renovation project, which began in August, involved regrading part of the lawn to redirect water away from the basement; the placement of additional drainage systems; and reconstruction of the masonry stairs that enter the basement. The renovations included the addition of a gravity daylight drain to carry water away from the basement door, as well as new landscaping. Construction was by Lost Art LLC of Jefferson, MD, and was overseen by ADC.

Marvin Ausherman, head of Ausherman Properties, said of the Schifferstadt project: “Integrity is everything to us. That’s why we carefully manage every job, no matter how large or small, from start to finish.”

“We are grateful to the Aushermans for the repairs to the Schifferstadt basement and surrounding grounds,” Gettier said. “They will help ensure the historic house and architectural museum remains open to the many who visit the property for a long time.”