The Moffatt-Ladd Warehouse: Our Vision for Tomorrow
The Moffatt-Ladd Coach House ca. 2005
The Moffatt-Ladd Coach House, early Summer 2008
Grand Ribbon-Cutting May 31, 2009
The Grand Ribbon Cutting ceremony was held in the Warehouse on May 31, 2009. Thank you to all of those who have generously supported the project. While we have received many donations, we still need your help. We have yet to reach our goal and are still working towards raising all of the needed funds to complete the project. To donate, please visit our Donate Now page to find out how to further support the Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden. Thank you.
Looking for the latest information on our project? Click here! Are you wondering how you can help? Scoll down or click here.
Preserving the Past
An ambitious project to restore an 18th century Coach House is taking place at the Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden, a National Historic Landmark, on Market Street in Portsmouth. Built in 1763, the Moffatt-Ladd House has been a museum since 1912. The elegant Georgian mansion is open daily from mid-June through mid-October, and features one of the most beautiful gardens in Portsmouth.
The Moffatt-Ladd Coach House (far left in ca. 1885 photograph) represents one of only a few 18th century shops or warehouses to survive on the New Hampshire Seacoast.New Hampshire's State Architectural Historian has called the Coach House a "rare and significant structure."
Skilled artisans are restoring the building, using the latest restoration techniques to update the sills, girts, and posts of the timber-frame building.Original material is being retained and reused as much as possible.Lumber from an ash tree, removed from an adjacent area, is being used to construct the new floor of the Coach House.
Archaeological investigations and paint analysis have revealed that the structure has been on its present site since approximately 1835.Between April and August 2008 the building was lifted to allow for the excavation of a foundation and perimeter drainage.
Ensuring the Future
The Moffatt-Ladd House has a tradition of offering school tours free of charge. The Coach House enables us to broaden these tours to include hands-on programs designed to connect Portsmouth's modern economy to the city's early history as a bustling colonial port.
In the Coach House's warehouse space, students will experience the seafaring heritage of the Moffatts, Whipples, and Ladds, and see how these merchants' livelihoods, and the homes in which they lived were all dependent upon the fluctuations of a worldwide economy.
Some of the student activities will including lifting and loading cargo by block and tackle, climbing into a sailor's hammock, writing in a merchant's ledger, and charting trade routes and moving goods from port to port on a large roll-up floor map of the late18th and early 19th century world. Students will take what they learn into the main house where they will see many of these same goods in use. They also will see the connections between the main house, the Coach House, and the museum's adjacent waterfront wharf.
Project History and Plan
A Conservation Assessment Plan Review in 1999 set priorities and created a 10-year plan for the preservation and conservation of the museumís building and collections.Serious structural issues have been addressed and solved for the Main House, the Counting House and the ell addition at the back of the Main House.
Now the Society is tackling the largest single project in the long-range plan, the restoration of the Coach House.The needs of the building created the opportunity to transform it into a dynamic space that will enable us to broaden our interpretation of the museum site and provide new programming for the community.
We have lifted the building, created a sound foundation for the structure, and are constructing a two-story compatible lean-to addition to stabilize the structure, add preparation and collections storage space, and keep ground moisture away from the restored timber-frame.
Benefits to the Community
The Moffatt-Ladd Coach House project revitalized the museumís mission of outreach to the community.
The project allows us to:
Preserve a rare architectural survivor of Portsmouthís maritime past
Create opportunities to form partnerships with other local organizations
Provide space for public programs and workshops
Add dynamic programming and space for events to the cityís rapidly developing Northern Tier
Open up space for hands-on educational programs that will bring Portsmouthís seafaring heritage to life for a new generation
Provide space for community events with state-of-the-art audio visual amenities
Create a unique rental space for wedding receptions and other social events
House humidity-controlled storage for archaeological and other collections
Offer exhibition space to local museums and artists
Become an active presence connecting Portsmouthís waterfront to its commercial and retail center
Painting of exterior
Block and tackle lift
Events Coordinator Position
Interior light fixtures
Staircase to loft
Projection Screen Marinerís corner items
Installation of harbor light Floor cloth map of world
Merchantís corner items
Interpretive signage E
xterior lighting Storage panels
And lots more....
If you would like to help, you may donate to our Coach House project by clicking on the image above. For more information, please go to our Donate Now page or call (603) 430-7968. We sincerely appreciate your donation. Thank you.
Owned and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of New Hampshire