By Kevin White
The past few months have witnessed some major restoration on two of our historic buildings. The Hooper-Hathaway House (1682) has been the recipient of a new shingled roof. This project also included new gutters, downspouts and rake boards, as well as new copper dormer roofs and flashing. Specifications for the job were written and defined by our preservation architect, Bill Finch, and approved by the Salem Historical Commission. The work on this spectacular 17th-century home was done by Joseph Napolitano and crew (NAPCO), of Gloucester. They are specialists in Early American homes and have worked on many of the area’s most important historic houses. This is very exciting for us because it has returned the house to the way it was when it was first moved and restored by Caroline Emmerton in 1912. In addition to the roof, members of the Gables staff have been replacing clapboards and have restored many of the double hung windows in the house as well. This project was funded by many generous donors and a matching grant that we received from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Also, across the street at the Settlement House, a beautiful new porch, designed by Seger Architects of Salem, has been built. This building, purchased by The Gables in 1966 from the Sons of Poland Associates, continues its long tradition of service. Originally built in 1806 as a Home for Aged Men, it now serves the Salem Prep High School, helping young men and women in our community achieve success in education. The porch, which is on the Derby Street side entrance, offers a substantial improvement in safety, functionality and overall appearance of the building. A great job was performed by Leland Hussey and his crew, of Swampscott, and the staff and students have relayed their thanks.
In addition to these projects, two new rooftop HVAC units have been installed at our Visitors Center. These units service our Plumsock and Holyoke rooms and will improve the comfort level in these spaces.
As the garden season comes to an end, it seems like only yesterday that the lilacs were in bloom, and as the autumn weeks fly by, our landscape provides us with a seamless offering of horticultural delights. This grand display is the work of tireless hands and countless hours all bent toward keeping The House of the Seven Gables’ gardens and grounds a show piece here in Salem. The winter will provide its own glorious palette, but we shall look forward to the tulips in the spring.
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