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Renovations of Historic Buildings on North Shore of Boston

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

A door that goes nowhere? Historic buildings—over 100 years of history in the case of the Essex County Club and the Hamilton Town Hall—may undergo many changes in architecture and function, leading to doors, windows, and rooms that no longer fit their modern use or even threaten their continued existence. I’m always interested in the challenges involved in renovating or restoring an historic building.

The Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea is a premier golf course that has hosted many golf tournaments, including the Curtis Cup and US Women’s Amateurs and Mid-Amateur. But the clubhouse had a few quirks, including a door that actually led nowhere.

WORKS was asked to come up with a design that would eliminate the door and yet keep the style and joy of the original structure. The solution was to duplicate in the 20th century the craftsmanship of the original structure. You can see the results in the photo, where the center archway has been opened up to provide a display case. The archways on either side are brand new, replacing both the door that went nowhere and an extra kitchen door that interfered with flow. The new arches are exact replicas of the original arch in every detail; the wall looks as if it were originally designed with three arches, and the beauty of the structure is intact.

The Town Hall in Hamilton, Massachusetts, presented a different problem, with rotted flooring and splintered trim the natural result of aging in a building that dates from 1898. The WORKS team made the repairs, fixed the underlying problem, matched the paint and flooring, and ensured the integrity of the structure for years to come.

For often-used and well-loved historic buildings like the Essex County Club and the Hamilton Town Hall, the safety and comfort of visitors, preservation of the beauty and grace of the original structure and sticking to the timeline and budget are always prime considerations during restoration and renovation.

WORKS respects all those goals, whether in homes, public buildings, or private facilities.

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