What’s going on here? Renovations on Washington Street  

Drive through the Old and Historic District lately? Folks may have noticed scaffolding surrounding the historic building abutting the Jeremiah Lee Mansion on Washington Street.

Scaffolding has gone up around the brick building abutting the Jeremiah Lee Mansion.. CURRENT PHOTO / WILLIAM J. DOWD

Recognizing that others in the community might share the same intrigue, the Marblehead Current staff reached out to Lauren McCormack, the executive director of the Marblehead Museum, to gather more insight. 

McCormack shared details about the ongoing renovation, the building’s significance and the museum’s plans for its future.

What’s going on here? “Two things are going on in this photo, actually. The scaffolding is for the historic masonry experts who are repairing damaged bricks, repointing and shoring up the window lintels on the 2nd floor. On the left, you see the ramp for the demo crew who is working to give us access to the original roofing structure, which needs much remediation. The timbers are suffering from cracks, deflections, and old powderpost beetle damage.”

Is this part of a larger project? “This work is part of our over $1 million project to preserve, restore and interpret this building that Jeremiah Lee built in the 1760s to be his carriage house and out-kitchen.” The museum also believes it served as housing for some or all of the individuals whom Lee enslaved. 

How long will work last? “When the project is completed in 2025, visitors will be able to see a recreation of the kitchen and slave quarters, as well as tour exhibits about Marblehead’s diverse history.”

How are you funding it? “We are seeking donations and grants to help fund this project. We are a private non-profit and receive no local, state, or federal funding except through competitive grants.”

Anything else people need to know? Folks can learn more and donate on the museum’s website, https://marbleheadmuseum.org/kitchen-slave-quarters/

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