Celebrating over 40 Years in Business
Who Built That?

by Doug Hanna
 
Sometime in the mid-1990s, S+H Construction was hired to perform a renovation on an old, but quite grand, wood frame building on Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. The structure was originally built as a single-family residence but had been purchased by Lesley College, and at that time served as the administration building. Part of the project involved restoring and improving the front entryway. We removed the elaborate front door, pediment and casings and saved them for reinstallation. While removing the door, we found a short piece of clapboard that had been fastened between the back of the door jamb and the frame. Written on the clapboard with a carpenter's pencil, in wobbly script, was a random time capsule of information about the house, the city, and the state of our country. 

The date on the clapboard was from 1863. It started out talking about the cost of the land, the cost of construction, the price of gold, etc. Then the writer went on to say, as best as I can recollect: "We are now engaged in a great civil war. Cambridge has thus far sent 1,900 men to fight for the Union cause." 

I can't tell you the feeling we had staring at this artifact, being the first people to see it in 130 years. A carpenter from the 1860s had successfully reached out a few generations in the future, to some new carpenters. His message was received, enthusiastically. We called the Cambridge Historical Commission, who took the artifact, photographed it for their archives, and instructed us to re-install it behind the door jamb when we rebuilt the entryway, which we did. And there it remains, until the next time someone takes this doorway apart. 

One of the little-known joys of working on old buildings is stumbling across the gems that pop out from the mists of time. From simple things, like the Roman numerals that carpenters used to number pieces of trim or rafters, to graffiti from the 1820s, to an empty crypt from a backyard near Harvard Square, a wide array of historical and archaeological artifacts have been revealed to us over the years. We've dug through old trash pits full of oyster shells, broken crockery, bottles and clay pipes. We've also been around so long that we've even found some framing signed by us, from the 1970s. 

For those of us in the trades, it's not just the thrill of finding cool stuff from the past. It's the understanding of the craftsmanship (done without power tools) and appreciation of the hours, days and years of the people's lives that created these structures that we value so highly. The more time we spend working on older structures, the more we respect the quality of the work, and the honest toil of the countless and nameless laborers, carpenters and tradespeople who came before us.

(By the way, I have since learned that my great-grandfather, William J. Hanna, was one of those young Cambridge men who went off to the Civil War). 
A YEAR IN REVIEW 
S+H FEATURED IN CAMBRIDGE CHRONICLE 

In February, Doug Hanna weighed in on how homeowners of historic Cambridge homes can prevent any major issues due to weather. To check out the full article

S+H SPONSORS FRIENDS OF MASS GENERAL CANCER CENTER SPRING LUNCHEON

S+H was proud to once again be a silver sponsor of the Friends of Mass General Cancer Center Spring Luncheon, on Friday, April 27, 2018 at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year,  author Meredith Goldstein, best known for her work with the Boston Globe, signed copies of her new memoir titled, "Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist." 


S+H SPONSORED THE 2018 ABC (A BETTER CHANCE) "ROCK THE HALL" EVENT 

S+H was a bronze sponsor of the 2018 ABC (A Better Chance) "Rock the Hall" event on Saturday, April 7th a t the Winchester Town Hall. (ABC) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to integrate kids into the community by providing a true "home away from home."  For more information about the Winchester ABC program please visit www.winchesterabc.org.

S+H NAMED ONE OF THE BEST CUSTOM HOME BUILDERS BY HOME BUILDER DIGEST 

In June, S+H was honored to be named one of the Best Custom Home Builders in Massachusetts by Home Builder Digest. Click HERE to learn more! 


S+H NAMED  ONE OF THE TOP GENERAL CONTRACTORS IN BOSTON BY BOSTON ARCHITECTS

This past May, S+H was named one of the top general contractors in Boston by BostonArchitects.org. To see the article, click HERE.


S+H FEATURED ON NEW ENGLAND LIVING TV

In June, S+H was featured on season two of New England Living TV where host, Parker Kelley, enjoy a tour of the gorgeous Nahant home where we worked on exterior renovations and the sitework. To view the episode click HERE.

 
S+H HOSTS 21ST ANNUAL PREPARE FOR WINTER DINNER 
 
This past fall Sarah Lawson and Doug Hanna hosted the 21st Annual Prepare For Winter Dinner, supporting On the Rise. On The Rise, a day program for homeless and formerly homeless woman, creates a community where women have the relationships, safety and resources they need to move out of homelessness.

 
S+H WINS A 2018 SILVER PRISM AWARD 


  
On October 25th S+H was the recipient of a 2018 Silver PRISM award for Best Kitchen Remodel over $200,000.  The winning remodel was a collaboration with architect, Ingred Nunez of Design.Create. You can also check out this amazing kitchen in the fall issue of Northshore Home Magazine (more info below). 

Photo credit:  Greg Premru
    
  
S+H FEATURED IN BOSTON GLOBE SUNDAY MAGAZINE
 
(photo by Sean Litchfield for the Boston Globe)

On Sunday, October 12th S+H was featured in the  Boston Sunday Globe  for their work on a dream kitchen remodel for Keith Dresser,  executive food editor of  Cook's Illustrated  and test cook on  America's Test Kitchen. Check out the full article HERE


S+H FEATURED  IN FALL ISSUE OF NORTHSHORE HOME MAGAZINE 

This fall, S+H was featured in
Northshore Home Magazine for their work on a beautiful kitchen remodel. To check out the article click HERE for the digital edition of the magazine (article on page 30) or pick up a copy on stands now! 


SARAH LAWSON FEATURED AS ONE OF BOSTON COMMON MAGAZINE'S "DYNAMIC WOMEN" 

Check out our very own Sarah Lawson, in the September issue of
Boston Common Magazine, who is recognized as one of their 2018 dynamic women. In a mostly male-dominated industry, Sarah is well respected for her strong leadership. We could not be more proud of her! Check out the full spread HERE
 
In addition to being featured as a Danamic Woman, the October issue of Boston Magazine also features Sarah  as one of the "Faces of Women Lead Businesses." Almost 19,000 women-owned businesses employ a little over 26,000 people in the city of Boston. Check out the full list of amazing women HERE


S+H IS PROUD TO ONCE AGAIN BE A SPONSOR OF THE BOSTON SPEAKER SERIES 
  (Photo courtesy of Lesley University) 

Recently, S+H attended the first speaker series of the 2018-2019 season with guest speaker, James Comey. We are proud to, once again,  be able to support a program that provides the greater Boston area with perspectives of national and world leaders, authors, activists, historians, humanitarians, and other influential individuals. 
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday season.

- Sarah Lawson and the entire S+H Family 
Review Us on Guild Quality!
"They go the extra mile to provide confidence that you are in the best care possible for your home, the design, and safety." - 5 out of 5 stars, Elizabeth M. of Cambridge, MA 
"Both their workmanship, which is top notch, and their customer service, also top-of-the-line, make S&H the go-to construction company in the area." - 5 out of 5 stars,  Carol G. of Cambridge, MA                       

If you've had a recent project completed by S+H don't forget to give us your feedback on Guild Quality!

For more information on any of the above topics or to schedule a consultation/appointment for any of S+H's services, e-mail mail@shconstruction.com or give us a call at 617-876-8286.

 


S+H Construction is a multi-award winning general contractor specializing in new construction, residential renovation, historical restoration, kitchen and bath remodel and landscaping, serving the greater Boston area since 1978.

 
S+H Construction is a proud sponsor of Boston Speaker Series, CHAF, National Public Radio, Friends of Mass General Cancer Care Center, Cambridge Historical Society, Historic Newton and The Longy School of Music. 
 
26 New Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
617.876.8286

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S+H Construction
26 New Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138