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Storm-damaged garden arch repaired at Hamilton House

August 13, 2013

Finishing touches

The Colonial Revival gardens at Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine, are a major attraction for visitors. Last fall, Hurricane Sandy damaged one of the centerpieces, a dramatic arch.

A high water table and rich soil created conditions that contributed to the decay of the wooden posts supporting the arch, and the high winds of the hurricane caused the structure to shift. Last fall, Historic New England's property care staff carefully moved the arch and stored it under cover on site. Planning for the re-installation began immediately. By late spring, the plan was complete and in June a two-week repair campaign commenced.

The new posts were secured to concrete piers with custom-fabricated galvanized steel anchor brackets. This system was designed to keep the post bottoms above the ground and should ensure a long-lasting installation.

After making some small repairs to the arch, the crew lifted and reinstalled it on the new posts. New trim and a coat of paint completed the process. The arch now stands straight and fairly sparkles, as lovely as the views it frames.

Because weather and time are unrelenting, please consider helping us with future maintenance work at Hamilton House and our thirty-five other properties with a gift to the Preservation Maintenance Fund.

View a gallery of the repairs.

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Storm-damaged garden arch repaired at Hamilton House