Palmer Stables at Tanker Bay

About this Project

Palmer Stables is a historic home located near the north shore of Massachusetts, now part of the Bradley Palmer State Park.

Bradley Palmer was a Harvard-educated attorney with a strong love of horses.  As his funds grew, he began buying land along the north shore with plans of building a country retreat.  In 1891 Palmer bought the Lamson farm which included a house with a stable and carriage garage attached, as was the style at the time, to save on construction costs.

Between 1909 and 1924 a new carriage house was built south of the main house.  It was during this time that Palmer’s landholding grew to 10,000 acres.  On the land, he built race tracks and riding trails.  He hosted polo matches, horse shows, and fox hunts.  

In 1944, Mr. Palmer deeded the 721 acres of his Willow Dale Estate to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but continued to live on the land, leasing it from the state.

Interior of the carriage house and old skylight

Over time, the carriage house began to deteriorate and fall into disrepair. The once magnificent copper-trimmed skylight became green and warped, and the glass was broken. The task of renovating a historic skylight can be a daunting challenge. From the differences in glass technology to the changes in building codes, there are many factors to consider in order to ensure the preservation of the skylight’s historical significance while meeting modern safety and functional standards.

This skylight was no exception.

The advances in framing and glass were immediate concerns as the historic relevance needed to be preserved. Bringing the skylight up to code was important. The understructure had to be reconstructed to hold the weight of the dual pane, fuel-efficient safety glass.

The skylight’s original design and construction were of utmost importance, ensuring that any renovations or replacements are true to the skylight’s historical significance. Using copper caps, Crystal Structures was able to retain the original look while bringing the skylight up to code. The carriage house is once again a beautiful and useful structure.