North Gate at Roseland Cottage gets a lift
March 29, 2013
Now that colder weather has arrived and preservation projects at our historic properties have slowed down, Historic New England's carpentry crew is focused on shop work and planning for next year’s projects. This time of year allows a chance to reflect on the work accomplished during the recent building season. This is the fifth in a series of posts detailing recent carpentry projects that are essential in preserving Historic New England's properties.
Exterior woodwork of any sort is vulnerable to weather, and intricate woodwork even more so. A fence, which is completely exposed on all sides, is perhaps the most vulnerable kind of wooden structure. A gate has all the vulnerabilities of the fence along with the added complications of opening, closing, and needing to support much of its own weight as it hangs from the gate post.
A heavy, intricate wooden gate needs maintenance and repair on a regular schedule. That has proven to be true at Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut, which has perhaps the most intricate exterior woodwork of any Historic New England property.
In the spring of 2012, the property's North Gate, having sagged enough to need temporary reinforcement, was ready for repairs. Working with the local historical commission, Historic New England preservation staff devised a treatment plan, removed the gate leaves, and brought them to our carpentry shop at the Lyman Estate in Waltham, Massachusetts. While the joints had deteriorated, most of the gate structure was sound. New material was spliced into the damaged areas and the gates were reassembled, painted, and reinstalled in October using the original hinges and hardware.