Preservationist across the country challenged with recreating natural slate and shake roofs for historical projects are relying on man-made polymer roofing tiles. More durable than natural products, polymer roofing tiles, like those from DaVinci Roofscapes, resist fire, impact, high winds and the punishing weather conditions of Mother Nature.
“Often times historical sites hold onto their original roofs as long as possible thinking they’re staying ‘true’ to the structure,” says Ray Rosewall, president and CEO of DaVinci Roofscapes. “That can be a mistake. As natural slate and shake products age, they break down and are no longer able to protect the building. This can increase the risk of damage to the structure or even susceptibility to fire.
“These worries can be put aside when replacing natural shake and slate roofs with plastic roofing materials that accurately replicate the original roofs. There are many historical preservationists embracing man-made roofing products because they bring so many advantages to a project --- increased durability, longevity and comparable aesthetics being just a few assets of polymer roofing products.”
Examples of specific projects that embraced the advantages of polymer roofing tiles include:
DuSable Museum Roundhouse
After a proud history that includes serving as a horse stable during the 1893 World’s Fair, the Roundhouse at DuSable Museum in Chicago has now been restored.
Originally built in the early 19th century, the structure’s round shape is made of Joliet limestone and is now topped by a DaVinci Roofscapes polymer slate roof that offers the site a lightweight roofing solution. (Click here to see full story)
Olde Liberty Restaurant
When a fire destroyed the historic Olde Liberty Station restaurant in Bedford, Virginia in 2009, owner Harry Leist decided to rebuild the historic landmark using Bellaforté polymer slate tiles on the 107-year-old building.
The original rail station had heavy slate tiles on the roof so Leist ordered DaVinci plastic state roof tiles to recreate the original roof. (Click here to see full story)
In Durango, Colo., the milled wood roof shingles on the historic 1880s Peterson House were so worn by time and weather that they had simply crumbled apart. As part of ongoing restoration efforts of the historic structure in 2011, the team at Animas Museum chose a lightweight roofing system.
They requested a Fancy Shake roof made of fake cedar shake in the Mountain blend color because it was ‘spot on’ for the period and the building. (Click here to see full story)
Rivers Education Center
In Charleston, S.C., the 1900 Rivers Education Center has been targeted for restoration and reuse. After serving as manufacturing plant and later as a school, the historic site is now being renovated.
A new Bellaforté polymer roof in Slate Gray has been installed to replicate the original roof structure. (Click here to see full story)