Nonprofit raises $476K for historic farmhouse at Fairfax County park

The Ellmore Farmhouse in Frying Pan Farm Park that ServiceSource is looking to maintain and upgrade through a Resident Curator Program (Photo courtesy ServiceSource)

(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) A nonprofit helping people with disabilities is moving closer toward maintaining, renovating and upgrading a farmhouse built in 1891 at Frying Pan Farm Park.

The organization, ServiceSource, says it’s ready to proceed with the project to add programming, a “grab and go” café and a handicrafts specialty shop to the 12-room Ellmore Farmhouse, where its clients would operate the services and benefit from an array of music, dance and art classes as well as reading groups and other activities.

“ServiceSource seeks to engage with the Frying Pan Park visitors and park guests by offering supplemental amenities including … [selling] handcrafted items made by people with disabilities through our Bloom Artisans Program,” the organization says, noting that individuals who create the items receive 100% of the sales. “ServiceSource participants regularly participate in classes and craft greeting cards, soy-based candles, organic soaps, and handwoven scarves and tote bags.”

On Tuesday, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn requested the board expedite a Board of Supervisors public hearing for Feb. 8, noting that supervisors approved the organization for its Resident Curator Program on May 4. The organization’s lease runs for 29 years.

The program allows county properties to be leased for a long-term period for no rent while resident curators maintain standards to preserve historic properties and promote them to the public.

ServiceSource spokesperson Kendra Hand said the organization is ready to proceed with the upgrades once it gets approval. The organization is looking to fundraise $660,000 for the  project, according to the organization. Helping to round that out, a 50th anniversary virtual celebration will take place Dec. 9, where all proceeds will help the Ellmore Farmhouse project.

The farmhouse (2739 West Ox Road) is painted white inside and out and features hardwood floors. The organization hopes to add meeting and multipurpose rooms as well as a computer room and community room at the two-story home, all while preserving its historic character.

The county’s Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Jan. 26.

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