The Forbes Letterbook

Forbes House Museum Receives Grant from Milton Women’s Club

A $5,000 grant award from the Milton Women’s Club is the latest donation from generous contributors supporting the Forbes House Museum’s current exterior restoration project.

“It’s especially meaningful to the board to have the support of a Milton organization like the Milton Women’s Club.  We are most grateful for their generosity,” said Anne Malone, chair of the museum trustees.

Combined with private contributions and an allocation from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the grant is funding restoration of the museum’s porches, starting with the hexagonal south porch with its distinctive Chinese glazed ceramic blocks and other original architectural features.

After extensive preparation this winter, BMR Contractors began removing the porch columns in March and discovered their good craftsmanship meant they required minimal replacement.  “We were very pleased with the quality of the wood,” said Cheryl Tougias, project architect and a principal at Spalding Tougias Architects.

During excavation, contractors learned the foundation was more uneven than expected, and more of the foundation will need to be rebuilt rather than just repointed.  Tougias, a Milton resident, commends the contractor’s level of attention to the project’s historic aspects, including using salvaged brick to match those in the home’s foundation. “BMR Contracting and its subcontractors really have respect for the building’s many historic elements,”she added, noting that a focus on repairing instead of replacing is one of BMR’s strengths.

As the first of several essential projects, the porch restoration is on schedule for completion in June, in accordance with Massachusetts Historical Commission’s grant provisions.

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 was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966.

During the restoration effort, the museum is adjusting its house tour schedule because of the relocation and storage of many collection items.  For more information, please consult the museum’s website,


Columns from the museum’s south porch before and after restoration


Excavation of the south porch foundation reveals the extent of rebuilding required

Excavation of the south porch foundation reveals the extent of rebuilding required

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