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What’s New in Preservation?

November 15, 2021 Published By Holly Watson

Over the past few months we have undertaken a walkways and drainage project on our property. If you’ve ever visited us during or after a large rainstorm you may have noticed that water collects in low places on the walkways, sometimes causing areas of our site to be difficult to access. Staff members had taken to calling the massive puddle in front of the museum store “Lake Beckett.”

With the help of a generous 2021 Health and Safety Grant from Independent Schools Compensation Corporation (ISCC), we began the project by leveling areas of the walkways to prevent major flooding. Gary Clark and his talented masons from Clark Masonry & Restoration LLC in Salem, spent many days employing their expertise throughout the property working through the major problem areas.

The walkway restoration has successfully reduced the amount of water retained after a rainstorm, and we are now working to maximize drainage efficiency. Upon inspection we discovered that many of the underground drains at the base of the gutter downspouts were partially or fully blocked, contributing to the water buildup throughout the site. Nelson’s Plumbing of Peabody has been systematically working to unclog the drains, to help prevent flooding. The next stage of the projects involves using a water jet system to clear the downspouts and gutters.

As some will recall, the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace basement flooded after a particularly wet August and subsequent mold issues arose. We continue to monitor the house and collections. So far, the mold remediation process put in place in September is working well. You can read more about the process here on our blog.

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This post was written by Holly Watson