Arron signals the crane operator as he lowers the H onto the sill

Paper Beats Rock

We all have illusions about longevity. Many people think that a building’s strength is derived from its foundation, made of stone, or brick, or concrete, but that’s only partly true. A good foundation is a blessing, but a bad foundation is not damning. We’ve seen so many foundation failures that in a well-designed timber frame, we…

Jennison Barn

Bread and Butter Barn

I write a lot about our unusual jobs: a deserted island, an elevated dance floor, or a building-sized jewelry box, but most of us got into this to do jobs like the Jennison barn. The job incorporates so many of PTF’s defining motifs: barn preservation, adaptive re-use, local history and creative clients. The Jennisons called in early…

Don Pendergast

Timber Grading

“They still call it Black Monday,” says Don Pendergast, standing over a 10″ x 16″ timber, 48′ long. He’s trying to grade a yard full of timbers destined for the Lewis Conservation Center while a wannabe April O’Neil peppers him with questions about his 20 year career grading wood for NELMA, the New England Lumber Manufacturer’s Association. He’s…