22 Dec The Inimitable Michael Mawn
The Fowler Clark Epstein Farm has been a beehive of activity this month, with construction on-going both inside and out, as we head toward completion of the project. While David Hurst’s landscaping team has been hurrying to regrade the site and complete walls and pathways before winter weather worsens, our general contractor, Michael Mawn, has been orchestrating his team of building professionals to complete the rehabilitation of the house and barn. This would be no small feat for a bigger general contractor, most of whom tackle a project with a team that includes an estimator, project manager, site superintendent and administrative support. But, as team coordination and administration goes, Mike Mawn is a one-man band who does all of the above single handedly. The Fowler Clark Epstein Farm has also benefited from Mike’s skills as a carpenter, with many years of preservation projects under his belt.
Not everyone has heard of Mike’s company, MJ Mawn, Inc.; self-promotion has never been Mike’s priority, and you won’t find a company web site highlighting his extensive portfolio of historic rehabilitation work, which includes the Buckman and Monroe Taverns in Lexington, the Durant-Kenrick House in Newton, the Vilna Shul in Boston and the Allin Congregational Church in Dedham, to name just a few. Historic Boston has benefited greatly from Mike’s years of dissecting and rebuilding old structures, which often require creative solutions to unexpected discoveries in the field (as Mike likes to say, anyone can sit in an office and put ideas on paper – that’s the easy part!) And while he can be a demanding taskmaster, Mike’s fairness and good business sense have earned him a loyal and hardworking crew of talented subcontractors.
When hunting season rolls around, Mike usually spends weekends pursuing his favorite hobby. But not this year. For the first time in 42 years, he missed opening day to work at the Fowler Clark (and he’s even worked a few seven-day weeks on the project).
We searched for our collection of photos for some good shots of Mike, but when he spots a camera he typically scowls or turns away. So we have lots of photos of him looking the other way, ones taken surreptitiously, and one good one of him relaxing in the construction trailer.
As we finish the year, start a new one, and sprint toward the finish of the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm rehabilitation, Historic Boston raises a glass to Michael Mawn for his commitment and hard work. Cheers Mike!