Last October, the wooden eagle carved by Samuel McIntire over two centuries ago for the north facade of Hamilton Hall was removed for restoration and preservation purposes and two days ago a resin replica was (re-)installed in its place, and once again I had a bird’s-eye view from my third floor window. The cherry picker, contractors, replica and a little crowd arrived first thing in the morning and by 10:00 the new eagle was firmly in place, looking (from relatively far away) like it had always been there. The original eagle had been painted in the later nineteenth century and gilded in the 1920s, but apparently it was white in the first half-century of its existence, and so white it will remain, blending in nicely with the adjacent–and original–McIntire swags. Kudos to the Board of Trustees of Hamilton Hall for making this happen–as this was the last in situ McIntire eagle in Salem it has been a topic of conversation for decades. Now the old wooden eagle–its rot removed (or at least stabilized)–will endure in interior perpetuity (one hopes!) while its better-equipped copy braves the elements outside.
Daily Archives: July 17, 2015
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- Not happy with the chapter I'm writing on Town House Square for our Salem book so put it aside and started fresh. There wasn't enough context so buried myself in the histories of colonial town planning all weekend---very interesting field. Apparently we have another sin to lay at the feet of the Puritans: they were poor planners! Those towns that were laid out around a common and meetinghouse did ok, but those that were not established a poor foundation. Salem's Common was developed relatively late. Quoting one source: while the Puritans were the greatest colonial town founders, they were conspicuous failures as town designers and town builders." This could explain a lot about Salem's planning history, or lack thereof! I just happen to like the illustrations of Hugh Thomson for the 1920 edition of the #scarletletter and #becausepuritans.
I always attribute the images that I use in my blog; if you are going to copy them, please do so as well.
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