South Façade Restoration Project

Recently you might have noticed a different “Green Monster” in Boston as the Old State House's south façade has been covered with scaffolding and a green scrim. The work taking place behind the screening is focused on removal and replacement of deteriorated wood. Most of the work is centered on windows, but some decorative elements and trim are being replaced as well.

The congested downtown environment takes a toll on the Old State House, and our small 18th historic structure is overshadowed by 20th century office buildings. These tall skyscrapers create an urban canyon that funnels the wind and rain directly at the Old State House. The brunt of the weather is on the north and east façades, but that doesn't mean the south and west façades are off the hook.

As some of our blog readers may recall, we recently did preservation and restoration work to the west façade of the building, completing carpentry and masonry repairs. That project, like the current one, tackled a side of the building that had been left untouched since the 1990 restoration by the National Park Service. After over 25 years of Boston winters and summers, just about anything begins to break down. 

A window in need of some restoration work.

This fall, the largest amount of work will take place on window sills, where varying levels of deterioration were found. Up at the dormers, the window trim and casings are getting Dutchman and epoxy repairs. The bases of the entrance columns will be replaced due to rot. All windows are getting some glazing work, and everything will receive a new coat of paint to protect the wood.

Work to the Old State House is always a challenge and there never seems to be a perfect opportunity to complete projects. This fall our project has been set up for success by a team that took the time to plan and coordinate aspects of the work to achieve a schedule that allows completion before the winter weather sets in. The Society, its trusted architect David Storeygard, and consultant Judy Selwyn have been pleased with the progression of work so far.

To execute this project, we have partnered with M&A Architectural Preservation out of Lawrence, MA. M&A have a special relationship to the Old State House, having been involved in multiple projects over the last 12 years. I have been fortunate to know and work with M&A for 10 of those 12 years. M&A have been part of award winning preservation projects, and are trusted professionals whose portfolio includes the new State House, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Harvard University. It certainly gives us peace of mind to know that the Old State House is excellent hands once again. You can learn more about M&A on their website.