House Envy

“When he was on the board of the Danvers Preservation Commission, Mr. Archer, who seems to have a finger in every artistic and architectural endeavor in town, fought to save the Danvers State Hospital. A mental institution built in the 1870s, it was not merely a Gothic masterpiece as far as Mr. Archer was concerned, but ‘a testament to the human condition no less formidable than the Hermitage or Buckingham Palace.’

“The fight to preserve the building failed and much of it was torn down, but Mr. Archer paid $6,000 to remove a turret and have it hauled over to his place, along with bricks, hunks of granite, window frames and other odds and ends. (The rumor that he also managed to salvage a lobotomy machine is false, he says, as lobotomies were done with needles, but yes, he does have some of those.)


The turret lay on his lawn for a few years, until earlier this summer, when he was finally able to transform it, with the help of Robert D. Farley, an architect in Ipswich, Mass., into what he calls the Danvers wing. That was about $225,000, a figure that includes the walkway to the music room.”

— From an article entitled “Scrap Mansion” in the NYT four days ago.  DANVERS 4 EVA!

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