Arts & Culture

Art Spotlight – Save America’s Treasures

An update on the ongoing Save America's Treasures work at Castle Hill.

As you may have noticed, there is a lot going on at Castle Hill! For this month’s Art Spotlight, we want to update you on the historic preservation work taking place here as part our “Save America’s Treasures” grant from the National Park Service, announced in May.

These views from within the Great House show the extensive network of scaffolding that has been staged around the northwest façade of the house and up to the roof, where it surrounds the chimney above Cornelius Crane’s suite. The scaffolding is now tented with white sheathing and heated within. This enables us to maintain a certain temperature threshold for the mortar to set, allowing our preservation masons to work during the cold, off-season winter months.

a view through windows to two construction workers putting up scaffolding
an exterior view of the Great House at Castle Hill with scaffolding and tarps being put up

As a National History Landmark, Castle Hill merits the highest level of care. So far, the ceiling above the North Terrace portico has been removed and stabilization to the surrounding stonework is ongoing. Brickwork for the house and chimney repairs is being customized through three different brickyards to closely match the original materials. Such attention to detail and the matching of original materials is required for landmark properties, in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards.

This first phase of the work begins a 10-year architectural preservation plan for capital improvements on the exterior envelope of the Great House, preserving and protecting its historical integrity, as designed by Chicago architect David Adler from 1924-1928. The Trustees is grateful for partial funding from the National Park Service, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a private foundation, for allowing us to begin this mission-critical work.

a view down the Castle Hill allee from the roof with the ocean in the background
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