Preserving History Through Time

Thayer Academy Clock Tower

New England is blessed to have one of the deepest roots of history in our country that although beautiful to the eye, can be very costly and tedious to protect against changing weather and moisture. The clock tower of Thayer Academy is no such exception, and it is a statement piece of the this beautiful campus, located in the center of their courtyard.

Thayer Academy Clock Tower

The Thayer Academy Schoolhouse was first built in January of 1876. The Board of Trustees for the school held an architectural competition to choose the design. A firm by the name of Hartwell and Swazey won the competition and their design for the schoolhouse was chosen. The exterior of the school was completed by November and by August of 1877 the Academy was poised to open its doors for its first class.

Barnes Consulting was hired to repair the masonry that had damage caused by moisture and water intrusion on the brick façade. Brick and mortar naturally attract moisture which causes cracking and degradation over time. The Thayer Academy clocktower is made entirely of brick and mortar, making it a magnet for moisture and water problems that consistently needs to be addressed.

Aluminum louvers are vents that look similar to window shutters, that allows for air to flow in and out which mitigates excessive moisture.

BCG was tasked with two issues, first, moisture was getting trapped in the interior of the clock tower that needed a way out.  Inside the clock tower was a wooden staircase that leads up to the bell tower at the top. Within the front and side elevations, the tower has six “windows” of plexiglass that did not offer any ventilation for trapped moisture to escape. BCG suggested replacing the plexiglass “windows” with aluminum louvers (metal vents that look very similar to a window shudder) that offers air to flow in and out of the building and allow for moisture to escape during changing temperatures.  This replacement not only will mitigate excessive moisture, but kept the historical charm of the building as well.

The second issue was the entire exterior needed masonry repairs consisting of cutting and pointing of the mortar joints, replacing damaged brick units, repairing stone elements and in some cases, replacing them, and replacing through-wall flashing at various locations.  All these elements work together to mitigate water intrusion and to maintain the structural and architectural integrity of the clock tower, which is the main focus of the campus, and rightfully so.

The project is set to be completed by the start of the new school year, and we cannot wait until the scaffolding is down to see this iconic clock tower standing proud! Once finished, Thayer Academy will be left with a clock tower that will continue to stand proud and provide the beacon that the people of Thayer, and the Town know and love.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts