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it provides a positive that is pressed into
molding sand, and the resulting impression
accepts the liquid iron.
Nowadays, most New England fences
are made of cedar, their telltale detail the
8-foot sections that ship easily from the
factory. Historic wood fences were mostly
custom built on-site, with long runs supported by hidden posts and punctuated
only at corners, ends, and gates. Such elegant looks can still be had but require similar
custom work. An example can be seen at 121
Brattle Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
where spindled stretches are skirted not in
wood but in Azek, a rotproof PVC product
that’s ideal for use next to the ground.
All of Brattle Street presents one
of the country’s greatest collections of
fences, no less remarkable than the mansions behind them. From the elegant Chippendale geometrics at the National Park
Service’s Longfellow House to 1970s-style
shadow boxes to the urn-topped masterpiece in front of the Ruggles-Fayerweather
House, it’s a veritable fence museum. Adding something to the collection can be a bit
daunting, as landscape architect Gregory
Lombardi of Gregory Lombardi Design in
Cambridge discovered when he devised a
new granite-and-cedar fence to replace an
anomalous split-rail number at the corner
of Brattle and Appleton streets. “There’s a
pretty high bar on that street, and the best
fences really complement the architecture
of the houses behind them,” he says. “We
spent a lot of time making sure the granite
posts were edged, faced, and tapered just
so, and the cedar pickets’ cutouts had the
right proportions — we wanted the fence
to hold its own with the brawny, baronial
house.” Fence viewers of today should take
a stroll and see for themselves.
ERIC RO TH
S TRUC TURES
Realizing your concepts for outdoor structures through
creative design and excellent craftsmanship for 19 years.
E. Templeton, MA
Installation services available
throughout New England.
Custom pergolas engineered for life in the highest grade of
western red cedar, naturally.