Back in 1883 a timber-framed Standard Pennsylvania style barn was constructed with a real slate roof on the homestead of the Hartong family, located in the city of Green, Ohio. After more than a century of service, the worn out slate roof and the rotting wood structural support system beneath it have received a facelift.
“The structure was deteriorated beyond repair and had been leaking enough to also affect the wood batten nailers,” says architect Chas Schreckenberger, AIA and principal of Braun & Steidl Architects. “Because this was a historic structure, our first choice was to replicate the original slate. When costs wouldn’t allow that, we investigated more economical slate alternatives.
“After reviewing all our choices it was easy to make the selection of a DaVinci Roofscapes Single-Width composite slate roof. The appearance of the synthetic slate, its composition, affordability and durability made it the obvious choice for this project.”
The next step required gaining approval on the roofing choice by the city of Green and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (which awarded a grant to finance the roof’s replacement). Once given, the project started. Christian & Sons Inc. was brought in to replace the rotting timbers, and Absolute Roofing started the roof installation.
“The DaVinci slate tiles we specified enabled us to retain the historic character of the barn, even to the point of recreating the large ‘1883’ date on the roof,” says Schreckenberger. “The final outcome exceeded our expectations and everyone involved is happy with the results.”
The challenge of recreating the 1883 date on the roof, plus detailing the entire roofing job for the Hartong barn, required collaboration between the team at Absolute Roofing and Construction Inc. and Braun & Steidl Architects. Started in the spring of 2016, from start to finish, the roof frame reconstruction and tile installation took about six months.
“There were two significant challenges in this project,” says Chris Kamis, president of Absolute Roofing and Construction Inc. “First, we were working alongside the framing team to make sure the structure was secure and ready for the roof installation. Second, we had to configure the 1883 date carefully.
“The DaVinci product was different in dimension from the original slate, so it took several layouts to recreate the date. The original date on the roof had been faded, so we had some guidelines. In the end, the roof looks terrific with the 1883 date in Evergreen tile colors showing up against the Slate Black tile background.”
The completed roof project received the Contractor of the Year Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry in 2016 in the commercial specialty category.
Reflective of the Pennsylvania German heritage of the Hartong family and the community in the 1880s, the 45-foot by 90-foot timber-framed barn rests on a tooled sandstone foundation. Finished with vertical wood boards, the barn is owned by the city of Green and is part of the Levi J. Hartong homestead that includes a farmhouse, summer kitchen, milk house and other out buildings.
“The city purchased the property more than a decade ago and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007,” says Sarah Haring, community development administrator for the city of Green in Ohio. “It’s located in the city of Green’s Southgate Park and since that time, the Summit County Mounted Unit has stabled their horses at the barn.
“The farmstead represents patterns in agriculture and architecture from the 19th century in our area. We’re excited to have the new roof overhead that replicates what we believe the original roof looked like in 1883. The finished product is stunning and everyone, including visitors to the farmstead, are impressed with the look of the roof.”