The restoration of 8 Broad Street was a multi-year project that entirely transformed the Mary Baker Eddy Historic House in Lynn, Massachusetts. An extensive two-phase restoration took place from 2009 to 2014. Today, the exterior and interior of the house reflect the vibrant colors and layout that Mrs. Eddy would have known, while an engaging exhibit explains the significance of the work she accomplished while living here.
Longyear Museum acquired the property through countless donations received in 2006. Planning and fundraising for an exterior restoration commenced immediately. Gary Wolf of Wolf Architects, Inc., was hired as the preservation architect, and a team of specialists was enlisted to help in the project. This phase would not only restore the exterior to its original colors, but also include accessibility improvements, carpentry, and the addition of a new entry vestibule.
In May 2009, the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund awarded Longyear a $395,000 grant for the project. With the grant and generous donations from Longyear supporters, the restoration officially commenced in May 2010 with a small groundbreaking ceremony. The work concluded in Fall 2011, wrapping up just in time for the City of Lynn’s announcement that the house’s address was officially changed from 12 Broad Street back to its original number, 8 Broad Street.
A second phase of restoration commenced in 2013. This work involved restoring the house’s interior. Preservation specialists peeled back layers of wallpaper and flooring, scraped and analyzed paint samples and floor finishes, and charted the original placement of walls, windows, stairs, and heating ducts. Based on their research, the original floor plan was restored and the interior finishes, fixtures, and carpet reinterpreted to more closely depict the home in which Mrs. Eddy lived.
With the interior largely completed, work began in 2014 on a new exhibit located on the first floor. In July 2014, Longyear received a Significance Award from the Lynn Historical Commission for the restoration of this important historic site. In September 2014, a special evening gala marked the official reopening of the house. In August 2015, the project received a Preservation Award from the Victorian Society in America/New England Chapter.
If you’re planning to visit Boston, and would like to schedule a tour of 8 Broad Street, please contact us. You may read about the restoration project in greater detail in the following newsletters:
- New Evidence Comes to Light, Spring/Summer 2008
- Transformations at 8 Broad Street, Fall/Winter 2013
- The Lynn Exhibit and Opening, Fall/Winter 2014