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Room of Steel


IMG_2682Today was a big day in the Secret Room Project at The House of the Seven Gables. We’re closing out March with the placement of the steel reinforcement in our summer beam in the dining room chamber. Early in the morning, Cassidy Bros., the foundry who precision measured the reinforcement, arrived at The Gables along with a crew of five guys from American Steeple and Tower to move the 750 pounds of steel into place.



Check out the Salem News link below to see the steel coming in through the tiny bathroom window from the outside and a couple of videos here that show the steel in the interior.



Placement of steel reinforcement video



As John Wathne said in the beginning of the project, “the only surprise is when there are no surprises.” Well, the big surprise was being off by less than a ¼” in the final measurements. It took a little poking and prodding and the strength of a Cassidy Brother, but the steel eventually landed into place!



There are a number of next steps for the project. In the Dining Room Chamber, a sub-floor will need to be laid and shimmed so that the original floorboards can be placed on the top. A viewport that shows the flooring layers and unique construction techniques also needs to be seIMG_2686lected. In the Accounting Room, the diving wall removal will begin. From our understanding, this process should move with relative ease. The Historic Structures Reports state that not much is of note in the space and the areas being removed relate to Joseph Everett Chandler’s modifications to the room. We hope to have the Accounting Room reconfigured and reopened in the coming weeks for our spring visitors. In the dining room, on the first floor, plaster work is scheduled to begin in the coming week and the room should be back to normal in the next few weeks.




L1050332Please continue to follow our progress on the Secret Room Project! Our crowdfunding campaign is still open at if care to give to support this great preservation effort.





Links to articles and videos relating to the installation of the steel reinforcement:

Date: April 1, 2016

Author: sperling

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