Exactly one hundred years ago this year, The House of the Seven Gables was saved, restored and opened to be enjoyed by multiple generations of visitors. While we are thankful to have this 17th century treasure and the literary masterpiece it inspired, this favorable outcome is not always the fate of historic buildings. To celebrate the centennial anniversaries of both organizations, The House of the Seven Gables and Historic New England present The Preservation Movement Then and Now Exhibit at The House of the Seven Gables.
The exhibit is free of charge in the visitor center at The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, from March 21st – April 15th, 2010.
This panel exhibit examines the 1863 battle to save the Hancock House in Boston. Although the building was ultimately lost, its demolition served as a call to action to save countless other threatened architectural marvels nationwide. The exhibit also highlights one of the first preservationists, William Sumner Appleton, whose concern over how quickly historic buildings were disappearing throughout New England resulted in his founding the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England). In the last century, the preservation movement has evolved to include not only saving buildings, but conserving land and shorelines, downtown revitalization and the preservation of entire neighborhoods. Included in the exhibit are artifacts and photos from The House of the Seven Gables’ collection illustrating Gables’ founder Caroline Emmerton’s efforts to save this nationally recognized historic landmark.
A lecture will accompany the exhibit at The Gables on Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 2:00pm. This lecture, the first in the Seven Lectures at Seven Gables series scheduled during this centennial year, is titled The Life and Legacy of William Sumner Appleton. Historic Preservation Team Leader Wendy Price from Historic New England will use materials from Historic New England’s collection to explore in greater detail the impact of Appleton’s early preservation work. Ms. Price will also address Caroline Emmerton’s role with the then Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities both as a board member and to move two threatened buildings to the grounds of The Gables: The 1682 Hooper-Hathaway House and the 1655 Retire Beckett House.
Tickets for the March 28th lecture The Life and Legacy of William Sumner Appleton are $10 for non-members, $5 for members of The House of the Seven Gables, Historic New England and The Salem Athenaeum. For tickets to the lecture, please call The House of the Seven Gables at 978-744-0991 ext. 104.
About the photographs
Both were provided by The House of the Seven Gables. The top image was made from Turner Street in the late nineteenth century. The bottom image shows the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion and gardens circa 1940