Saturday, April 08, 2006

Geeking-out on Peservation at the Traditional Building Conference

Yesterday, I spent the day at the Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference. A lot of the people at the show were design professionals or building owners that are deeply involved in historic preservation. I am a design professional, and though SGW produces some decent traditional buildings, you could never call us preservation-oriented. Either way, I am kind of interested in this stuff (o.k., I’ll admit it, I am pretty much an archi-geek), so I thought I’d take in a couple of days.

The event was very cool. For those of you that are out there looking for great information on restoration practices and products, I strongly recommend attending this or a similar conference. In addition to the large number of exhibitors, there were some great presentations on restoring just about every part of a building - mortar, windows, roofing, and more. There were also several seminars on general heritage policy and design issues. I believe that the presentations were just as valuable to professionals like myself as they would be to the average homeowner of a historic or old home.

I have already attended presentations that touched on window restoration, green aspects of re-use and restoration and paint removal and lead safety practices – hopefully the info on the last subject will keep me from poisoning myself and the family. Today I will be returning to see demonstrations on window re-glazing and weatherizing as well as some about general house history. I can hardly wait.

As we move forward planning work on our little bungalow, this gives me a lot to think about. Ileana is already skeptical of doing a “restoration” of the home and has voiced her opinion that just because something is original to the home doesn’t mean it has to stay. I never considered myself a staunch preservationist but I am sure we will be debating issues of "saving or replacing" in relation to many parts of the home for the next several years.

2 comments:

Kristi Tolman said...

OK Chris, so tell me where I get the tiles for our 1920 bathroom! I want to keep the original but need replacement tiles. Any ideas?

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

There is a place in town called Architectural Artifacts. They used to have tubs of old tiles from various homes. If you send me a photo, I can run over and look for you to save you a trip. When you take the photo, be sure to lay a small ruler next to the tile so that I can see the size. In order to get the precise size, I would take a rubbing of the tile and bring it with you when you look. BTW, this is a fun activity to do with the girls - you can take rubbings with graphite and then color them or take rubbings with different colored crayons.