Now that it’s (finally!) time for day trips to the beach, a relaxing ferry ride across Vineyard Sound to Martha’s Vineyard offers up a quintessential New England coastal experience.
For some at Consigli, however, a trip to the Vineyard is not about getting R&R. Instead, it’s about working hard to preserve the island’s history through the restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic 1895 U.S. Marine Hospital into the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.
Long beloved by the local community, the wood-framed building has been carefully preserved to create exhibition spaces, collections storage and administrative offices. Original features such as fireplaces and chimneys, heavy wood doors, and vertical-grain fir flooring have been carefully refinished to preserve the building’s original character. Consigli is currently finishing a two-story addition, seamlessly integrated into the original structure which overlooks Vineyard Haven Harbor.
This renovation would be complex on the mainland, ensuring labor and materials arrive on-time for complex scopes of work. Add a ferry ride over seven miles of ocean and unrelenting Cape Cod traffic, and you have a true logistical challenge! Superintendent, Jerry Dorval—a Maine native who has spent weekdays on the island for the duration of the project— attributes effective planning as the key to success.
“Because ridership on the ferries picks up in the warmer months, we’ve brought over the materials needed for summertime well in advance and stored them on-site,” says Dorval.
Project Manager, Jason Maurer, who commutes daily on the ferry, says “Local island subcontractors and materials are being utilized as much as possible, but more than half of the labor force is traveling from off-island. When you experience four nor’easters in three weeks, you must make the best of it and keep the project on track.”
And that, they have. The project team has hosted site tours for project stakeholders and the curious public almost every other week. Maurer says “Everyone we bring on a tour has a personal story or connection to the building. There is a lot of interest in this project and a large community rooting for its success.”
Despite the many challenges this project presented, locals and island visitors will be able to enjoy the new Martha’s Vineyard Museum by the end of the year— ahead of schedule.