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.


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.