Category Archives: Window Restoration

Landscape Restoration In Process

Major work continues at Beauport this year– including landscape restoration of the east gardens, more window conservation work, and repainting of the side wall shingles to the historic color.

Here is just a sampling of what’s happening at the site:

Before work and during the landscape restoration

During landscape restoration work

Repainting the side wall shingles to the historic color


More windows!


Scaffolding installation for repainting and window work


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Harborside Windows Underway

The repairs are underway at the windows located on the harbor side of the building.  Recently, Heartwood Window Restoration removed five windows on the harbor for full conservation.  Most importantly, the Master Mariner’s window–a beautiful Moorish-inspired window on the second floor.

Beauport has a vast number of rooms, mostly based on literary and historical themes.  The Master Mariner’s Room is predominated by a nautical theme shown with objects including sextants, telescopes, compasses, charts and ship’s logs, scrimshaw and other items associated with voyages to faraway ports.  The room’s name alludes to the master mariners of the past, as well as to a professional association of fishing captains, the Gloucester Master Mariners Association, whose members were often entertained there.  

Due to the location of the windows, exterior work is extremely difficult.  The rocky ledge does not allow safe placement of a ladder to reach the second floor and the roof is exceptionally steep above.  The only access is through some sort of scaffolding system— so, taking advantage of the scaffolding in place for the roof replacement project, the team sprung into action.  

 The windows were carefully removed and protected for transportation… then happily returned, fully conserved.

Existing Conditions


Conserved and Re-installed


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Windows and More Windows

Thanks to the citizens of Gloucester through the Community Preservation Act, Beauport is the proud recipient of $25,000 to continue the much needed window conservation work at the house.

Beauport’s windows consist of wood sash units in varying operation—fixed, casement, and double hung.  The units include wood frames that are joined by a pinned corner mortise and tenon joint and wood muntins separating individual plate glass in diamond and rectangular patterns.  The house includes over 105 window openings with 249 sash units and 10 skylights. Since 2009, approximately 200 sash have been conserved.  The goal for this final phase is to address the remaining windows that include moderate deteriorated glazing and frames and sash that are accessible only by scaffolding on the harbor elevation.

To kick off the final phase, our own Carpentry Crew started the window conservation work late this winter by removing four windows from the Pine Kitchen.  

And Sleeper (the original owner) never disappoints–every time we enter the house, we find something new and exciting.  After years and years of the Pine Kitchen windows being painted shut–and thought to be fixed– the carpentry crew removed the sash and made an interesting discovery.  On either side of the sash and frames were hardware indicating that the windows were once operable.  Tension clips were used on windows that could not accommodate a weight pocket, or were not heavy enough to need one.  The sash would be clipped onto hardware that included a small spring, which would hold the window in place when opened.  The Pine Kitchen windows would have slid into the above wall cavity approximately 6 inches allowing air circulation at the bottom.  

Unfortunately, the hardware is badly rusted and currently not operable–but it is always fun to make a new discovery on how Sleeper used the space.

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Congrats to Us!

The Harbor Elevation

On January 25th, 2011, the Gloucester City Council voted 8 to 0 to appropriate $25,000 from the Community Preservation Act funds (through the Community Preservation Committee) to provide professional conservation care for the remaining windows not yet completed at the house.  This means that we can match the CPA money with the Save America’s Treasures funds already secured and create a $50,000 project!  The money will go towards the final phase of window work at the house.  Approximately 200 windows have already been conserved… only 49 more to go!

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Filed under Announcements, Window Restoration

Closed- But Not For Us!

The house might be closed for tours during the winter but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any activity there.  Unfortunately, some of the activity can be a little unwanted…  

The house is constantly monitored for various issues from moisture infiltration and crack monitoring  to pest infestation.  Due to the size of the house and grounds, most off-season walk throughs can take between 2 and 3 hours.

The exterior is monitored for fallen branches or trees, vermin activity, cracked windows, stone wall deterioration or displacement, and snow accumulation.  Monitoring the areas that seem to get the bulk of moisture helps us form better conservation and maintenance planning for the building.  And it is not only the roof that piles on the snow, due to the location of the house on the Gloucester Harbor, the wind can lead to significant snow drifting at the ground level.

On the interior, rooms that have either suffered from leaks previously or are currently suffering from leaks are monitored and assessed for continued damage.  Leaking from the roof due to improper or deteriorated flashing continues to plague the building.  These leaks will be addressed this summer during an intensive roof replacement and chimney repair project at the site.  This work is partially funded by a Save America’s Treasures grant through the Department of the Interior. 

Significant cracks are also monitored at the site.  Although cracking is a normal occurrence as the house settles, any changes in the cracks can be an indication of serious structural issues.  Also, major projects, like a roof replacement, can upset cracks or displace deteriorated framing.  Therefore, significant cracks and any new cracks will be closely monitored during the work.   

Leaks are not the only problems on the interior; pests are another issue and can seriously damage the interior collections of the site.  Beauport has had its fair share of pests from bats, squirrels, and mice to powderpost beetles, silverfish, and spiders.  But that is for another post…

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Filed under Roof Replacement, Uncategorized, Window Restoration

Phase III Window Work Announced!

Historic New England requests proposals from qualified preservation firms for the conservation of 15 wood windows and surface glazing and repainting of 6 additional sash at Beauport (Gloucester, MA).  The project is funded with assistance from the Save America’s Treasures administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.  Beauport is a National Historic Landmark.  All work performed must meet the “Secretary of Interior’s Standards” as well as in accordance with the documents prepared by owner.  Bid requirements can be obtained by contacting Jodi Black at 617.997.5580 or  Bids will be evaluated on price, previous experience, schedule, and references.  Bids will be accepted until Friday, January 22, 2010 at 4:00PM. State Law prohibits discrimination.   

Project Background:

Starting in the fall of 2008 and continuing through 2011, Beauport is undergoing an extensive restoration and preservation plan in order to rectify water infiltration issues that continue to plague the building.  This work is an expansion of a 2006 Getty Conservation Assessment that outlined points of water penetration, structural abnormalities, and repair options.  An extensive survey, condition assessment, and restoration plan has already been outlined for the windows—dividing the units into several phases of work over three years.   

 Beauport’s windows consist of wood sash units in varying operation—fixed, casement, and double hung.  The units include wood frames that are joined by a pinned corner mortise and tenon joint and wood muntins separating individual plate glass in diamond and rectangular patterns.  The house includes over 105 window openings with 249 sash units and 10 skylights.  The previous phases included full conservation and surface glazing to approximately 136 sash located on the terrace elevation (northwest) and the front elevation (southeast) of the building.  The goal for the third phase of conservation work at Beauport is to address windows that include moderate deteriorated glazing and frames and are only accessible by the roof.  The wood shingle roof is scheduled for replacement in the late spring of 2010; therefore this phase of work has to be completed before that time.

Please Help Us Continue to Fund This Project!

Make a matching contribution to the Save America’s Treasures grant so that we can continue the much needed work at Beauport, please contact or call 617.994.5952 for more information. Thank you!

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Filed under Announcements, Window Restoration

Tour Season Ending

The public tour season for Beauport is coming to a close–October 15 will be the last day for tours and then the house will be closed until June 1, 2010.  Even though the 2009 summer started off as a rainy one, many wonderful events took place on site, including Wine at Twilight, Afternoon Tea, Picnic By The Sea, and Nooks and Crannies Tour.  Several projects also took place this past year that  resulted in some interesting changes at the house.  Three of the most distinctive projects were the brick  terrace restoration, which revealed brick steps that were covered by a second owner in the early 40s (a more detailed post to come); the restoration of the historic landscape and planting beds; and a large scale wood window conservation project, which repaired and repainted over 130 sash at the house.  

But even though the season is coming to an end and the house will be winterized, more property-based projects are starting… upcoming projects include: wood shingle roof replacement, Belfry Tower restoration, masonry work at 6 chimneys, skylight repairs, and more landscape work. 

Stay tuned… more exciting work is still to come!     

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Filed under Terrace Restoration, Window Restoration