Carriage House: Adaptive Re-use for the Future

We are moving ahead to recycle the Carriage House as a vital public asset. If you can help with a donation, we'd be most grateful.
Donation information.

Restoration Update: the Historic Buildings

Restoration photos

The rebirth of the historic Shepherd Brooks Manor and Carriage House buildings is but one piece of the total experience at the Brooks Estate. Open space, habitat, historic landscape and buildings all work in harmony to ensure the legacy that we have inherited, and that we will leave for future generations.

M-BELT has been working for almost two decades to bring back the Brooks Estate after years of neglect. There are two focuses: the landscape/habitat and the historic Shepherd Brooks Manor and Carriage House (and associated core landscape) at the end of the access drive.

For a view of the overall vision, please see our 2016 Master Plan Summary. (pdf)

We have cleaned up the long-neglected landscape and maintained trails, the Boardwalk and the Brooks Pond environs. For more on the natural features of the property and how you can enjoy them, please see our landscape page.

Restoration of the Shepherd Brooks Manor (1880) and Carriage House (1880) has involved playing a great deal of "catchup ball," given their condition when the Preservation Restriction was put in place. While we have made tremendous progress on the Shepherd Brooks Manor (see below), the Carriage House remains in dire jeopardy.

Manor House, 2011

Shepherd Brooks Manor after major exterior work.

Shepherd Brooks Manor

The restoration of the Manor has made tremendous progress. Major accomplishments include:

Exterior

  • slate roof, gutters
  • 70 windows/shutters
  • 5 rebuilt chimneys
  • door and trim painting
  • complete new West Porch
  • complete new South Verandah
  • drainage improvements in west yard

Interior

  • plumbing and electrical upgrades
  • new upstairs bath, new ADA restroom
  • new boiler/ hot water heater, new oil tanks
  • interior wall/ceiling repairs and painting, floor sanding
  • energy-saving measures, security system
  • numerous other improvements

Carriage House

The Carriage House - January, 2016

The Carriage House - January, 2016

The Carriage House is a much different story. The Carriage House roof and associated "envelope" was patched and tightened twice. As we have reminded the City of Medford and the Medford City Council, however, these "temporary" repairs have proven to be just that -- the winter of 2014/2015 was brutal and today the Carriage House roof is at serious risk of collapse if critical stabilization measures are not taken (please see our Home Page for an update on this situation).

Exterior

  • roof repairs (see above, however)
  • door repair
  • trim painting
  • brick re-pointing

Interior

  • removal of loose slate from loft
  • protection of carriage lift artifacts
  • brick storage
Carriage House 3D Image

Computerized image - interior of a fully restored Carriage House

A Restored Carriage House

Assuming that the City of Medford does not let the roof fall in, the Carriage House restoration will include replacement of missing architectural elements (to restore exterior to its original 1880 grandeur) and the creation of a contemporary multi-use interior. The Carriage House will provide Medford with a first-class function facility suitable for a variety of events: community meetings, social events, lectures, presentations, art and cultural events, etc.

In addition, the Carriage House will help provide an economic engine to maintain the Brooks Estate in perpetuity as a community asset available to all and for all.