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Blowing in the Wind

four weathervanes

When the construction plans for the new Travis Roy Campus Center were first being drawn, something was missing from its roofline: a weathervane. The plans soon were updated to include a new cupola that was designed to house the previous weathervane that once stood atop the Hayden Library. 

However, due to its poor condition, Hayden’s weathervane couldn’t be fully restored. While two other old weathervanes that once graced Tabor rooflines were found in storage, unfortunately, none of them could be restored for use. The lifespan of a weathervane isn’t as long as the building it sits atop, so restorations and replacements are common.  

To address the now empty cupola on Tabor’s newest roofline, Cape Cod Cupola was brought on board and plans for a new weathervane took shape thanks to an anonymous donor.

The three older weathervanes that previously spun in Sippican Harbor winds were all crafted in the shapes of generic ships. However, the newly commissioned weathervane would not follow suit, according to the donor. It would be a tribute to Tabor, and as such, it was fashioned to match the SSV Tabor Boy. In fact, Campus Center Architect Will Saltonstall ’82 provided Cape Cod Cupola with actual plans from the school’s schooner, ensuring that it would be an accurate portrayal of the iconic student sailing vessel. 

In addition, the new weathervane will look a little different in color, compared to its predecessors. Copper is typically the material used to make weathervanes, chosen for its pliability, strength, and resistance to corrosion. However, due to copper’s natural reaction to oxygen, the bright copper color will eventually turn green and gray. The oxidation process also means that the structure may stain the roof below. To prevent this from happening on the new building’s metal roof, the Tabor Boy weathervane is coated with lead.

Until the Campus Center is ready for its adornment, the new weathervane will remain on display in the Stroud Lobby, along with the three older weathervanes. Discussions are taking place to determine if any of the old weathervanes can be permanently displayed elsewhere on campus. Stay tuned for further updates on our weathervanes as we continue our journey to make the Campus Center All-A-Taut-O for our community. 

If you wish to support student community, connection, and collaboration, make a gift today to the Travis Roy Campus Center.