We received our contract for The Greater Philadelphia Historic Home Show in January in the mail this week – that has us thinking about our plans for next year and what we can do. We are also working on our class schedule for 2009 – please let us know if there are any topics you are interested in that we did not offer this year.
On Sunday morning after breakfast we walked down to Building Character (www.buildingcharacter.biz) in the 300 block of North Queen Street in Lancaster. They were having their Sunday Market (organic food vendors, local produce,with live music and architectural details for sale). I bought a picture of one of the Star Barn’s (locally famous on Route 283 outside of Harrisburg – soon to be moved to Lebanon) outbuildings (which I consider more architecturally interesting than the main barn). The outbuilding was built in the Gothic Revival tradition and features an interesting cupola. Anyway I digress -Building Character is not the typical architectural salvage store – they attach history of the pieces if they know it and they are blending architecture with art. In the same way we try to do with our work. If you have an opportunity, I recommend visiting Building Character for a unique shopping experience (if you have a chance to visit on Sunday you can also grab lunch).
Storm Cunningham in The Restoration Economy (covering all aspects of the restoration economy natural and built environments) states that 25% of all landfill waste is from construction activities. By reusing the salvaged materials from buildings that are being torn down in our restoration projects we are keeping those materials out of the landfills.
It is easy with these new green materials to refer to new building as green. The new building materials are green for a new building approach but that approach is not necessary the best method when working on an older home (one built before 1945). There are ways to take a green building approach when dealing with your older building that does not include retrofitting inappropriate modern materials.
Back at the office our June newsletter was mailed (a day late) and we are investigating the e-newsletter options on Constant Contact. If you would like to be added to our e-mail list please e-mail [email protected].
In our June newsletter we introduced the Speedheater Paint Removal System – if you are interested in a demonstration or rental please call us we would be happy to accommodate any requests. The office number is 717-291-4688.
Father’s Day Weekend we had a wood window repair class. We enjoyed our time teaching and getting to know the participants – look for pictures and video of this class to be added to our website soon. One thing that we have heard from almost all of our participants is that they thought there was some mystical secret to restoration. We spent sometime during the class discussing that the majority of restoration work can be taught within a relatively short amount of time – these usually are the repetitive labor intensive projects – and if the building owner is willing to contribute some “sweat equity” the cost of restoration can be greatly reduced. Of course there is a percentage of the work in which skill and expertise are required – which is the work we enjoy doing (the detail orientated – finish work).
Have a happy Fourth of July – enjoy sometime with your family cooking out and watching fireworks!
What can you do?
The budget negotiations are going on right now and are scheduled to conclude next Tuesday, July 1st. Contact Governor Rendell, your State Senators, and House Members. Let them know how important our historical resources are to you. For more information regarding HB 221 contact the National Trust for Historic Preservation at http://www.nationaltrust.org/ (information is available on the advocacy page of their website along with a letter to e-mail to your local representatives and Governor Rendell).
It was a hot day with high humidity on top of the heat – I would describe it was oppressive. We made due with the weather (which impacted the turn out) and moved our presentation into the park gazebo were there was shade and benches for the attendees.
Despite the small crowd we had a good time discussing the importance of wood windows to a historic building, the replacement cycle (caused by inferior new growth wood and modern construction practices) (the replacement window salesman was not happy with this aspect of the discussion), storm window options (interior and exterior), the energy efficiency of wood windows (with support from the University of Vermont Wood Window Report – showing the energy savings is less than a dollar a year when wood windows are replaced with modern replacement windows – a copy is available under the Services section of our website), how to make wood windows more energy efficient, and a demonstration of the steps to repair wood windows.
We enjoyed sharing our knowledge with the few concerned homeowners and the Borough of Bellefonte’s available HARB members. We look forward to visiting this Victorian city again in the near future.
This is our first venture into the world of blogging. We will complete at least one posting a week regarding some form of preservation/restoration news, information, or trivia. We often make presentations to preservation groups and will highlight those presentations as well as our hands on classes within our blog and on our website.