Historic New England completes Browne House structural repairs

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 first in a series of posts detailing recent carpentry projects that are essential in preserving Historic New England’s properties.

Structural repairs to the ell of the c. 1698 Browne House in Watertown, Massachusetts, were a major focus in both late 2011 and 2012. The project began in August 2011 and ran through July 2012.

Exterior work included a complete sill replacement along the north elevation of the eighteenth-century ell, numerous repairs to other structural components of the north wall and the replacement of damaged sheathing, clapboard siding, and trim. Inside, insect-damaged floor framing was replaced and a new sub-floor was installed. The original finish floorboards and trim elements were reinstalled in the same locations, having been mapped, labeled, and stored at the site during the structural repairs.

This project, which ran simultaneously with the recent roof replacement, addressed the most pressing needs at Browne House, which features many rare surviving architectural elements from the seventeenth century. Time and weather are relentless, however, and maintenance is an ongoing process. Please consider supporting our continuing efforts to protect New England’s rich architectural heritage with a donation to the Preservation Maintenance Fund.

View a photo gallery of the repairs.