Situated on a commanding hill just outside the picturesque Long Island town of Oyster Bay, Sagamore Hill displays an impressive collection of artifacts, such as the massive head of a 2,000 pound cape buffalo and 10 foot elephant tusks, as well as stories of a beloved President’s life, family and political career.
Sagamore Hill was the home of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, from 1885 until his death in 1919. During TR’s time in office, his “Summer White House” was the focus of international attention and host to luminaries from around the world. Today this property is a National Historic Site protected by the National Park Service and an extremely popular tourist attraction. On over 95 acres, the site includes TR’s house, the TR Museum at Old Orchard, a Visitor’s Center, several outbuildings and extensive grounds.
The main house is a sprawling 23 room, three floored, Victorian-styled building, with a massive 30 x 40 grand room known as the North Room, where TR kept his trophies, paintings, books, sculptures and dozens of priceless artifacts given to him by foreign dignitaries. TR’s home is currently under extensive rehabilitation and expected to re-open June 2015; however, the Old Orchard Museum and several outbuildings have remained open.
Protecting Precious Collection
In the world of ever increasing museum security, it has become standard policy to secure and protect the collection, point of sale areas, and the entire facility/property. In the past, Sagamore Hill has experienced thefts and property damage, and with the impending rehabilitation project, this was an ideal time to install a comprehensive security solution to protect and preserve this important site.
A consultant was brought on board for much of the planning and specification, and Advance Sound was chosen as the security integrator. Originally, Sony cameras and an American Dynamics VMS were specified. When Museum Curator and Director of Security Susan Sarna took over the project, she reviewed the specified equipment to determine if it would meet the museum’s requirements while being unobtrusive to its patrons. Additionally, she required cameras that provided advanced motion detection and search features. “I needed a reliable state-of-the-art system that was both easy to use and highly effective, particularly in the minimal lighting in the main house,” says Sarna.
Vicon offered a complete solution
After Ms. Sarna conducted a detailed camera comparison, several features of the Vicon cameras, as well as benefits regarding Vicon as a company stood out. She felt that Vicon’s cameras offered a significantly better solution for low light and IR illumination. Ultimately, she chose Vicon because they offered the complete solution: cameras, VMS, Professional Services, and local support.
The entire Video Management System has been installed, including several Vicon NVRs and over 70 Vicon indoor and outdoor cameras in the house, museum, parking lots, visitor’s center, and outbuildings, Not only is the system used for forensic evidence and as a deterrent for thefts and damage, it is also used to determine how and why some items might degrade, fade, corrode, etc.
For instance, they can now use the cameras to document the timeline of an artifact’s deterioration or discover that a painting fell in reaction to a storm surge. Or as in the most recent case, that a mole was causing damage to an area in the main house. Sarna has been very pleased with the performance and responsiveness of the total Vicon solution, “Vicon gives us peace of mind that TR’s treasures will be protected and preserved for future generations.”