Nuts and Bolts: Roofwalks

July 28 and August 1 Segment


(Photo courtesy of Nantucket Historical Association) 

“Did you know that the roof platforms on a historic Nantucket house, referred to as “widow’s walks “on the mainland are called “roof walks” on island?  They were used not only for observation, but to provide easily access to the roof and chimneys in the event of fire. Roofwalks were constructed during the whaling heydays, but by the late 19th century most were in poor condition and often removed. A 1937 survey showed that only about 10% of the roof walks remained. Today roofwalks can be restored if photographic documentation indicates they once existed on your house.