Iron Works Preservation and Restoration

Wooden bridge leading to a large, stone furnace is surrounded by metal scaffolding on a cloudless day.

NPS Photo

Beginning in early 2022, major life-cycle preservation and restoration work will occur on the Blast Furnace, Casting Shed, and Charging Bridge. To maintain safety and accurately reflect the historic appearance and function of the iron works reconstruction, the following items will be fully replaced or receive significant repair: deck planks, wind screen, railing (replaced with changes), roof boards, framing for bridge and roof, masonry structure mortar, and outriggers (timbers pocketed into masonry that support wind screen and other structural timbers).

Metal scaffolding, orange fencing, and caution tape set up around a wooden bridge and stone furnace.

NPS Photo / Jeremy Bumagin

During this project, portions of the paved path in front of the Charging Bridge, portions of the main lawn, and all access to the Blast Furnace will be fenced off for materials and equipment storage with no access for visitors. Gravel has been placed to protect the lawn, scaffolding has been set up around the Blast Furnace, and a perimeter fence is in place around all work areas.

The unfenced lawn areas, entrances to the park and all other pathways through the park will remain open to the public unless construction activities require additional temporary closures to ensure safety.

Metal fencing and scaffolding surround a large, stone furnace with shed at the bottom.

NPS Photo / Jeremy Bumagin

Contractors removed parts of the charging bridge and blast furnace including the windscreen, railing, and bridge planks. They are working to remove the outlookers—oak timbers that mortise very deeply into the masonry of the blast furnace structure—which take quite a lot of effort to remove.

The bellows and exhibit under the casting shed roof were covered to prevent damage when the roof is removed.

An angled wooden support structure for a roof that has been removed.

NPS Photo / Scott Law

The contractor has installed new bracing and shoring in preparation for the removal of large, integral pieces of the structures.

The accessible path between the upper lawn area and the lower industrial site leading into the forge will be open on weekends, holidays, and any other non-workdays.

A close-up of multi-colored stones with the mortar chipped out from between the joints.

NPS Photo / Scott Law

Mortar is a bonding agent that is generally produced by mixing a cementing or binding material and fine aggregate, or loose particles, with water. It is used to fill and seal the spaces between building blocks, such as bricks and stones.

A mason has been working to chip mortar samples from the joints the Blast Furnace stone chimney. These samples will be used to obtain a color match that is the closest possible for the final product.

Large wooden beams form the outline of a roof for a historic blast furnace

NPS Photo / Scott Law

December 2022 Update

Contractors have been making steady prgoress on the blast furnace and casting shed work. In November four large perimeter plate beams were installed near the top of the stone furnace. These four major beams are interlocked with mortise and tenon joints. From these major beams individual roof rafter beams are connected (pictured). Work has continued on the roof structure through November and into December.

News Release

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    Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site

    Last updated: December 21, 2022