King and prince post truss, looking frontward

That Old Time Innovation

In 30 years of investigating New England’s historic churches, PTF has never encountered a better truss system than that of Eastport’s Central Congregational Church. Built in 1828, the roof system 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…

Northwood Before

Huge and Hollow

Deep into the winter of 2014, a banner stretched like caution tape across the front of Northwood Congregational Church. It implored commuters from Portsmouth and Concord, “Don’t Judge a Church By It’s Outside. Look for Restoration Coming Soon!” The red text on white vinyl was the freshest trim on the front facade. The porch sagged, the…

Acworth meetinghouse crane

Kitchen of the Community

New Hampshire Preservation Alliance recently released an inspiring video about the restoration of the Acworth Meetinghouse. Built by Elias Carter in 1821, the Acworth Meetinghouse, with its double lantern spire, is a masterful representation of historic building craft. In 2008, the steeple and undercarriage were repaired by local craftspeople trained and supervised by PTF in techniques unique to steeple repair,…

Church on the Hill - Maine Steeples Project

Maine Steeples Project

The Maine Steeples Project provides crucial support to the communities that are preserving Maine’s most iconic structures.  A collaborative effort of Maine Preservation, the Maine Community Foundation, and a donor-advised fund, the foundation matches community-raised funds and provides professional guidance.  From their newly-updated website: The Maine Steeples Project supports local efforts to assess and restore…

In the shop, Seth fitting brace tenons

New Castle Gaze Bo

Preservation in the field can take many forms.  Most of the time, preservation is the most practical and reliable answer to a client’s needs, but there are times when pure preservation isn’t feasible, or reasonable (see Demeritt-O’Kane).  The New Castle Congregational Church and gazebo offers an alternate model.  The congregation has endeavored to preserve the…