Assessments

Many of our clients know that their building needs help, but don’t know where to start.  Once specific repairs have been identified, they can be difficult to prioritize.  Many building committees have the additional challenge of explaining the significance of their building, or phasing repairs for fundraising purposes.  Preservation Timber Framing performs a wide range of assessment services to help our clients plan the preservation of their historic structures.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Existing conditions reports
  • Frame dating, and explanation of historic significance
  • Structural drawings and digital 3D models
  • Annotated photo-documentation
  • Repair prioritization, phasing and estimates

The following is an representative list of recent assessment projects; many of the descriptions have been excerpted from the assessments. Examples are available upon request.  Please contact Emilee if you would like to schedule a site visit.

*Indicates properties on the National Register

NORTH FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH, Eastport, ME     2017

The North Free Will Baptist Church is one of two remaining public buildings from the Federal period in Eastport ME. It was built in 1819 and significantly altered in 1881, when it was lifted onto a new timber and masonry foundation wall. The humble exterior belies an elegant and well-preserved Federal sanctuary. The central section of the ceiling, about 25’ wide, is arched and supported by 17’ turned columns, with flat ceiling flanking the columns along either eave. The ceiling yields the best acoustics found Down East, surpassing concert halls in Boston and New York. Unused for many years, the tower has suffered significant water damage. The Tides Institute and Museum of Art has embarked upon rehabilitation of the building, restoring the plaster ceiling, and launching a concert series. PTF provided TIMA with an existing conditions report with annotated photos, frame drawings and prioritized list of repairs with estimates for planning and fundraising.

North Free Will Baptist Church, rear tower frame*CENTRAL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, Eastport, ME     2017

The roof system of Eastport’s Central Congregational Church combines the traditional strength of a king post-prince post truss and principal rafter-principal purlin roof with innovative tying geometry that prevents the pitfalls of rafter slippage. The roof geometry has maintained its joinery even though the foundation appears to have suffered a landslide into the basement of the church, and many of the carrying timbers are being carried by their floorboards. The exterior façade stands out for the near complete preservation of its original composition and trim detailing. It serves as a prime example of how some Federal Era builders used relatively simple building methods and a small collection of hand tools to create arresting architecture by integrating detailing with overall composition of fenestration and major trim elements. The Central Congregational Church was recently acquired by the Tides Institute and Museum of Art, who immediately began the stabilization process by improving access to the basement and tower. PTF provided TIMA with an existing conditions assessment with annotated photography, full frame drawings and a prioritized list of repairs, with estimates for fundraising and planning purposes.

Central Congregational Church, undercarriage

BENTON FALLS CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, Waterville, ME     2016

Built in 1828, the Benton Falls Church is understated and intimate. An archetypal rural Maine church, the gable-roofed main building is topped by a tower resting on the front gable wall and first interior bent. The tower is topped by an open, octagonal colonnade, notable for containing the last bell cast by the (Paul) Revere Bell Foundry in Canton, MA. Overall, the building is showing its age, alongside a history of frequent Yankee maintenance. PTF provided the building committee with an existing conditions report, full frame drawings and prioritized repair plan with estimates for planning and fundraising.

Benton Falls Congregational Church Front Iso

ROLLINSFORD GRADE SCHOOL, Rollinsford, NH     2016

Provided existing conditions assessment and annotated photography to contribute to a comprehensive assessment funded by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and used to apply for LCHIP funding.

READFIELD UNION MEETINGHOUSE, Readfield, ME     2016

Readfield Union Meetinghouse is a multi-phase, multi-year project to preserve an 1828 brick meetinghouse with some of the most impressive trompe-l’oeil murals in New England. PTF performed an existing conditions assessment with full frame drawings and prioritized repair plan in 2012. The steeple was removed as a stabilization measure in 2013. In 2016, PTF drew a step-by-step undercarriage repair plan and specifications that were used as part of the RFP process. The drawings allowed the building committee to specify the repair plan, and ensure that bids were comparable. It also allowed the bidding contractors to write accurate estimates and better anticipate the repair process. PTF is consulting with Connolly Timber Frames to complete the undercarriage repairs.

WEST AUBURN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, West Auburn, ME     2016

Existing conditions assessment, annotated photography, full frame drawings and prioritized repair plan with fundraising estimates. Report used in congregation’s efforts to obtain grant funds. Multi-phased project including repairs to the steeple and its foundation, framing repairs. Phase One began in 2016.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF MANCHESTER, Manchester, NH     2015-2016

Investigation and structural repairs to the truss system including epoxy repair, installation of permanent rod plates on king posts, tension connections and steel plates to prevent the further spreading of the frame.

ACWORTH HORSE SHEDS, Acworth, NH     2015

Following the collaboration that restored the Acworth Meetinghouse, PTF performed an existing conditions assessment for the Acworth Horse Sheds, combined with frame repair drawings and annotated photography. The frame drawings provided in the assessment were sufficient as construction drawings to repair the sheds.

VIENNA FARM, Gorham, ME     2014

The Vienna Farm Barn is a modified English frame with eight bents and interrupted plates. The frame contains many re-used elements and was expanded from a much smaller barn. The consistent location of scarfs in the middle of each tie beam indicates that the barn nearly doubled in gable width. There are elements of a modified queen post truss in the roof framing, but the geometry lacks significant tension connections that would allow it to function properly as a truss. The large roof endures considerable wind loads and contains no wind bracing, which is highly unusual given its size and location. In 2014, PTF provided the Jaegers with an existing conditions report with annotated photography and a prioritized repair plan with estimates. In 2015, PTF repaired the roof framing.

*MIDDLETON OLD TOWN HALL, Middleton, NH     2012-2013

Existing conditions report, structural drawings, photo-documentation, job phasing.  The second floor of Middleton Old Town Hall is composed of a well-preserved 18th century meetinghouse that was moved to current location and elevation in 1812.  In 1841, a muralist named John Avery painted a pastoral mural that wraps around all four walls and up onto the coved ceiling.  We performed this assessment in collaboration with mural restorer, Tony Castro.  It was funded by a matching grant distributed by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and funded by LCHIP.

 

*CANTERBURY SHAKER VILLAGE, Canterbury, NH     2013

Existing conditions report, structural drawings, repair prioritization, phasing and estimates.  In 2013, Canterbury Shaker Village partnered with Preservation Timber Framing to maintain and repair their historic structures.  Utilizing the entire crew, we completed initial assessments of nearly thirty buildings which were used to prioritize repairs and identify buildings in need of more in-depth assessment, stabilization and repair.

 

*FIRST PARISH CHURCH, East Derry, ME     2013

Existing conditions report, structural drawings, stabilization.

 

Merrill House and Barn, Hampton Falls, NH     2012

Existing conditions report and structural drawings to be used for maintenance, planning and development.   This house is a good example of an two-story, center hall residence built at the turn of the 19th century.  It is accompanied by a barn that is really two barns in one.

Butcher Barn, Berwick, ME     2012-2013

Existing conditions report, structural drawings, stabilization.  This unique barn frame has an English tie that terminates at a drive post, there is a strut that rises directly from the drive post to a principal rafter, and the foot of that principal rafter joins directly to the top of the post.

Storer-Garrison House, Wells, ME     2012

Existing conditions report, frame dating, structural drawings and photo-documentation.  This two-story, center-chimney, 18th century home was built from timbers reclaimed from Wells’ Storer Garrison, famous for its part in defending Wells’ colonists during the 1691 Raid on Wells.  The assessment was required by the town of Wells when the building was moved in 2012.

Mallet Barn, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport, ME    2012

Existing conditions report, job phasing, roof stabilization.  This late-18th century barn frame was one of the largest in the state when it was originally built.  It is one of the most well-braced barns we have encountered.  It is topped by a beautiful principal-rafter/principal-purlin/common-rafter roof system which are supported by a series of large and individually-braced raising struts.

*Union Meetinghouse, Readfield, ME     2012

Existing conditions report, structural drawings, phasing.  The sanctuary of the brick meetinghouse, built in 1827, includes some of the most impressive trompe l’oeil painting in New England.  The board is currently raising much-needed funds to restore the steeple and murals to their former glory.  Please visit their website for more information, or check out our photos.

 

New Durham Meetinghouse, New Durham, ME     2012

Existing conditions report, structural drawings, repair prioritization.

*Elder Grey Meetinghouse, North Waterboro, ME     2012

Existing conditions report, structural drawings.

*Castle Tucker, Wiscasset, ME     2011

Repair prioritization, phasing and estimates, stabilization.

Ram Island Farm, Cape Elizabeth, ME     2011

Existing conditions report, structural drawings, phasing and estimates, repair prioritization.  In-depth assessments of eight iconic 19th century farm buildings.