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What’s New in Preservation September 2023

After the conclusion of year one of our Coastal Zone Management research project, we’ve been finding ways that climate resiliency will impact what we do here at The Gables. While lots of the research is focused on what we can do in the long term, we have been finding areas that can be improved right away, as well.


Our most pressing task is repointing the seawall that runs up against Salem Harbor. This summer, we plan to fill in all the gaps in the mortar of our stone seawall, which was last repointed almost 30 years ago. This work will protect the seawall from the impact of wave action and reduce soil loss as water moves in and out of the wall assembly.


But stormwater can come from more than one direction, impacting both the seawall and buildings on site. The recent heavy rain has shown just how much back pressure can come from stormwater runoff, as a large stone has been dislodged from one of our neighbor’s seawalls. At The Gables, this means that we need to focus on better retention and routing strategies for stormwater runoff.


Along with replacement of the roof on the Tea House and Barn connected to the Visitor Center, funded through the City of Salem’s Community Preservation Act, we will adjust existing gutters to better catch roof runoff and direct it into our existing underground drainage system. We have also begun some maintenance work on other downspouts to better direct discharge and keep it away from basements.


The Gables also recently purchased three dehumidifiers, each capable of removing 100 pints of water per day. Two will go in the basement of The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, and one in the Hooper-Hathaway basement. The dehumidifiers will help remove excess moisture in these basements that cannot be diverted. We will monitor their performance closely to ensure they create the optimal interior environment without sacrificing structural integrity.


Replacement of the roof on the Tea House and Barn. Funded through the City of Salem’s Community Preservation Act.


Heavy stormwater runoff dislodges a stone in our neighbor’s seawall.


Date: September 1, 2023

Author: sperling

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