The Forbes Letterbook

Forbes House Museum Embarks on Porch Restoration Project

The Forbes House Museum has achieved an important milestone in restoring its north and south porches with the selection of BMR Contracting of Needham as the project contractor.

“This project will restore two of the most distinctive architectural features of this marvelous building—the north entry porch and the elaborate, hexagonal south porch, which incorporates Chinese glazed ceramic blocks into its second floor balustrade,” said Jeffrey Gonyeau of Gonyeau Preservation Services. “In addition to this critical preservation work, it will also ensure continued safe ingress and egress at the museum.”

The construction project will include restoring the columns on the museum's porches.

The construction project will include restoring the columns on the museum’s porches.

The museum published invitations to bid and contacted contractors in mid-December. The project team, led by Gonyeau, met with prospective bidders in late December to tour the site and review the scope of work. In January, the team and the museum’s Administration Committee met to discuss the bids and selected BMR Contracting after reviewing references. Museum Trustees voted to approve the contract with BMR in early February.

Private donations and a grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission are funding the restoration project at the historic home. “This work is part of a longer, more extensive, and more expensive restoration project to come in the next few years. We are grateful for generous beginnings. These contributions recognize what a rare treasure Milton has in the Forbes House Museum,” said Anne Malone, chair of the museum trustees.

“Given the building’s high architectural significance, we are very fortunate to have assembled a great project team to oversee the work,” Gonyeau added. Beginning in early March, the team will coordinate with BMR to complete preliminary interior work in order to start exterior construction as soon as the weather permits. Work is scheduled to be completed by early June.

Built in 1833 as the home of Margaret Perkins Forbes and her family, the Forbes House Museum includes Chinese export art, Civil War artifacts and Lincoln memorabilia among its collections. The Greek Revival home on Adams Street is a National Historic Landmark.

During the restoration effort, the museum may need to adjust its house tour schedule because of the possible relocation or storage of various collection items. For more information, please consult the museum’s website,


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