The Carriage House was originally built by Captain Nathaniel Ingersoll in 1806. Ownership passed to John Gardner and then to Jack and Isabella Stewart Gardner in the 1840's as part of the family estate, Green Hill, in Brookline. A large front portion boasts a clean enclosed coach room and a barn area at the rear once housed animals. The structure of the carriage house remains much the same.
The property on which the carriage house was originally built was developed into several house lots and the carriage house was to be destroyed. Neither the Brookline Preservation Commission, nor the Transportation Museum could raise funds rapidly enough to move it by mid-February 1999 according to the new owners' wishes. The Shirley-Eustis House Association accepted the structure as a gift at the end of December 1998 and began the process to move it immediately.
Dismantling and Restoration
During January and February 1999, the carriage house was dismantled by Preservation Timber Framing, a company with experience in moving historic structures. It was carefully studied as it was taken apart and documented by photographs and video. Horse stalls and cow stanchions were found and preserved for re-installation.
Repair and Reassembly
All parts of the structure were removed to a Roxbury warehouse, owned by YouthBuild Boston, for temporary storage. It was found that repairs to the frame and joists would require more work than originally estimated, increasing the costs of reconstruction by $60,000. Some timbers were in unusable condition and had to be replaced. The more than 180 essential repairs had to be undertaken with historically accurate methods and certified for strength and safety before a building permit was issued by the City of Boston for reconstruction.
The Eustis coach, in its un-restored grandeur, is displayed inside, along with other carriages.