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What’s New In Preservation?

The House of the Seven Gables needs a new roof.

The mansion’s roof was last replaced in 2005. Unfortunately the “tumbled” steel nails that were used are deteriorating due to a chemical reaction with the fire resistance treated shingles. This deterioration has caused roof shingles to slip out of place at an increasingly alarming rate. Tumbled steel nails were considered industry standard in 2005 and their failure has become an industry-wide problem. Other historic houses in the area, including the Nathaniel Felton Sr. House in Peabody, the Whipple House in Ipswich, and the Sargent House in Gloucester, have experienced the same issue, necessitating roof replacement long before it should be needed.

Replacing the mansion’s roof is critical to its preservation. A roof seals the envelope of a structure, protecting its masonry, wood, plaster, and paint, as well as its contents. Considering the architectural and historical significance of The House of the Seven Gables, and the tangible and intangible value of its collections, ensuring that it has an adequate roof is of the utmost importance.

We are elated and grateful that we will be able to replace the Gables’ roof thanks to grants from Essex National Heritage, the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and the City of Salem. Completing this essential preservation work will help ensure that this venerable mansion stands for another 350 years.

Stay tuned for future updates on this significant preservation project and more in the coming months.

Date: August 1, 2017

Author: sperling

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