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Challenge

A priceless clock collection and important piece of New England history was in danger of being destroyed because of a leaky wood shake roof.

Because the Willard House’s original structure was several hundred years old, the Museum’s trustees wanted to insure that any renovations would retain the building’s original look.

“Maintaining the house’s authentic feel was very important to us,” said Museum Director, Patrick Keenan. “That’s what people love about the Willard House – that they’re stepping back in time.”

Ron Votta, of Atlantic Construction Management, was put in charge of the project, and has carefully worked to maintain the Willard House and Clock Museum’s period detail while overseeing the needed updating.

“We’re reinforcing the structure in ways that won’t be seen. Outside, there’ll be exposed turnbuckles and tie rods that will look like the period. And we’re adding cast iron stars, typical of many 18th century buildings.”

Solution

To renovate the museum’s cedar shake roof, Votta contacted O’LYN Contractors, Inc.of Norwood, MA. After careful consideration, it was decided to replace the traditional cedar shake roof with a state-of-the-art composite shake shingle.

O’LYN’s Production Manager, Todd Mellor, explains that there were several important factors to consider before deciding on the synthetic shake. “It was chosen because it will not only keep the same look and maintain the building’s historic integrity, but it will also provide more of a fire retardant surface than the material it is replacing. We had to bring in a structural engineer to determine how best to reinforce the building to make sure it could handle the additional weight of the synthetic roof, and we’re confident that this is the way to go.”

See March 22, 2012 Press Release here: O’LYN Roofing Chosen to Preserve Historic Willard House …

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