Gillette Castle’s latest structural improvement hiding in plain sight
People can obtain a clue by looking up the slope at the castle’s entrance at 67 River Road. There sits a set of stone stairs and a retaining wall buttressing the terraces. “Both appear to be as rustic as William Gillette’s eccentric, century-old home, nestled atop the ‘Seventh Sister’ hill in Gillette Castle State Park,” the release said.
“But it’s all an elaborate illusion, in keeping with Gillette’s famous reputation for theatrical flair while portraying the fictional detective on stage,” Sherwood said in the prepared statement. “Those structures actually are new, disguising a modern, steel-reinforced concrete retaining wall nearly 200 feet long and incorporating updated conveniences and building materials.”
Rodney Young, vice president of Baltic-based Mattern Construction, said the renovation is subtle. Mattern completed the project earlier this year at the park, which straddles the towns of East Haddam and Lyme along the Connecticut River.
In fact, Young hopes visitors familiar with the old wall and staircase don’t notice any difference between the updated features and their appearance from past years.