SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 26, 2013

Rigging shed will be demolished

Salem resident starts Facebook page, hoping to save structure built in '97

SALEM — In a city where almost everything is historic, the National Park Service plans to demolish one thing that isn’t.

The rigging shed at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, a structure constructed in 1997 for temporary use as the Friendship was built, is slated to be taken down this spring.

The 80-by-16-foot wooden building is not up to code and was never designed to remain there, according to the Park Service.

The shed — used as a carpentry workshop and storage space since the Friendship was completed — will be demolished and removed sometime in the next few months, said Jonathan Parker, public information officer for the Salem Maritime Site.

“The rigging shed was never intended to be a permanent structure. By design, it is a temporary structure,” Parker said. “It’s time for the building to come down. ... Its value, compared to and relative to the other actual historic structures in the park, is very low. Ideally, we would like to spend our time and energy preserving actual historic structures.”

The National Park Service will publicize the demolition date, once scheduled, on www.nps.gov/sama and the Salem Maritime Site’s Facebook page, Parker said.

However, one local man has set up a “Save the Rigging Shed” page on Facebook, hoping to stop the demolition.

The Salem resident who established the Facebook page spoke with The Salem News this week but declined to comment publicly for this article.

Parker said the man behind the “Save the Rigging Shed” page is the only person who has contacted the Park Service about saving the building.

“The majority of people I’ve talked to are very understanding,” he said. “It’s important for people to understand the (rigging shed) is not historic and is essentially a temporary structure.”

The building is on Central Wharf on Derby Street. The wooden shed with red doors is often photographed with the tall ship Friendship docked behind it.

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