Jan. 23, 2013
-- Join Historic Salem, Inc. and the Salem Common Neighborhood Association for a night of food, fun, libation, live music, and prizes to support a special restoration fund dedicated to the Washington Arch on Salem Common.
This night of Mardi Gras entertainment will feature a spread of Fat Tuesday style appetizers and desserts and live Cajun music. All guests will also have the chance to win a number of gift baskets provided by local shops and donors.
According to documentation in the City Planner’s office, the original white archway was designed by famed woodcarver and architect Samuel MacIntire and was erected on Salem Common circa 1805. After removal of the arch due to deterioration, the Samuel McIntire carvings were given to the Essex Institute at that time for safekeeping. Until recently, the preserved carved reliefs could be seen in the first floor meeting room of the Peabody Essex Museum's Phillips Library.
The new “Washington Arch” was erected in 1976 on Salem Common by the Salem Bicentennial Committee. Standing 28 feet towards the sky, the arch was placed at the main gateway and subsequently moved to its current location. The design was based upon the original drawings by Samuel McIntire. Much the same as two centuries ago, the arch has signs of serious deterioration from harsh New England weather changes and both planning and repairs need to be undertaken soon. The Salem Common Neighborhood Association, which works to preserve this neighborhood resource and historic site for the city, has started a fund dedicated to the restoration and have been in contact with local architects to plan for the repair work.
McIntire and Mardi Gras will be taking place on Saturday, February 9 at the Salem Common Knights of Columbus located at 94 Washington Square, East, in Salem, Mass. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25.00 in advance and $30.00 on the night of the party. Advance tickets can be purchased though Historic Salem, Inc. at www.historicsalem.org
or by calling 978-745-0799.