The Cathedral of Saint Helena, Helena, MT

Built in 1908, the Cathedral of St. Helena stands as a remarkable landmark, showcasing exceptional architecture. The Durable Restoration Company is proud to be part of preserving this historic structure.

The restoration will take two years, split into two phases. Initially, The Durable Restoration Company will repair the South tower and Steeple. Beginning spring 2024, Phase 2 will start, focusing on the North Tower and center face. Both phases involve repairing cracked limestone, stabilizing the towers, and fully repointing the upper third of each tower with historically accurate mortar.

The steeple’s existing Terra Cotta Tile roof will be documented, removed, and replaced with new heavy-weight underlayment. Any found deteriorated wood will be fixed, and the Terra Cotta Tiles reinstalled in their original arrangement. Hurricane clips will be added to prevent tile displacement during strong winds. To ensure the steeple’s roofing system’s durability, current metal flashings will be substituted with new copper flashings.

As The Durable Restoration Company restores the Cathedral of St. Helena, the community can look forward to witnessing the rebirth of this architectural masterpiece.

Visit sthelenas.org for more information and to donate.

The Logan County Courthouse

The Logan County Courthouse, Lincoln, Illinois, was built in 1905-1906, the year after the city was platted. The original courthouse in Logan County was a much smaller wooden structure that was built in 1840, before the current building was completed. It was in this original courthouse that President Abraham Lincoln practiced law. It now resides in the Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI.

The original metal covering the iconic dome, as well as the coating applied to protect it, has reached the end of its functional lifespan and needs to be replaced. Logan County has decided to remove and replace all failing metal, with special attention to the natural thermal movement of the dome.

The Durable Restoration Company will replace the failing metal and create a new dome to be enjoyed by Logan County’s future generations.

Annaburg Manor, Manassas, VA

The Durable Restoration Company has officially started the highly anticipated four month restoration process of Annaburg Manor, Manassas, Virginia.  The City of Manassas purchased the land in 2019 with the plan to restore the historic structure and turn the property into a recreational park.

Annaburg Manor was built in 1892 by entrepreneur Robert Portner.  Since being built, Annaburg Manor has gone through innumerable exterior changes, some less durable then others, each reflecting the different styles of the occupants living there through the years.  The Durable Restoration Company (DRC) will work to restore the historic building back to its’ original façade.  Led by DRC’s historic preservationist, Julie Butler, the work will be done using accepted historic preservation practices and materials.

Our first step in the historic restoration process will be to replace the asphalt shingle roof to Vermont Black slate.

Below the roof, the formerly pink brick and brownstone façade – now a bright and peeling white – will hopefully be fully restored to its original warm hue, but only after rigorous testing. Currently, DRC conservators will use carefully fabricated mock-ups, evaluating different combinations of paint and removal techniques, to determine the closest possible match for the paint used and the least invasive method for removing it. The current paint coatings are leading to deterioration of the stone below and are not historically appropriate.

Completed, Annaburg Manor’s distinctive colors and ornate details will be a crowning achievement for DRC and a beautiful new social center for the city of Manassas, Virginia.

On December 9th, 2021 Annaburg Manor was placed on the Virginia Department of Historic Places registry and has been recommended for the National Registry of Historic Places.

David's United Church of Christ, Canal Winchester, OH

The Durable Restoration Company is undertaking extensive historic restoration of the steeple and bell tower at David’s United Church of Christ in Canal Winchester. The Gothic Revival style church was built in 1881 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Due to the height of the steeple, it was unknown for years that there was interior damage to both the steeple and bell tower. It wasn’t until an inspection was done that it was determined restoration was needed. According to Durable’s restoration expert Brad Brobeck, the metal roof of the historic church began to deteriorate and allow moisture infiltration within the bell tower, causing over saturation of the interior brick. This then caused the mortar of the brick to deteriorate eventually leading to the collapse of an interior brick wall and causing damage to the wooden bell tower floor.

The three month restoration project includes a multitude of repairs to bring back the historic integrity of the bell tower and steeple. The main focus of the steeple is to replace all existing architectural metal work. Restoring the metal with hand soldered copper is historically accurate and will make maintenance easier in the future. The church’s finial was removed and will be replicated by our coppersmiths. Within the bell tower, Durable Restoration is restoring the wooden floor and rebuilding the interior brick wall by reusing the existing clay brick and laying it in hydraulic-lime mortar. The slate roof has proven its durability and does not require replacement at this time, instead minor slate repairs will be performed to allow the steeple roof to last another hundred years. The importance of this project is to preserve this structure for many more generations. The correct way to do this is to restore the structure correctly with old-world craft and long-term natural building material.

St. Stephen Cathedral, Owensboro, KY

Durable Restoration crews restored several brass doors through a methodical process involving the removal of polyurethane and laborious attempts to bring the color and shine out in the brass metal. Along with the removal of the polyurethane layer, our crews sanded the top layers down to the original brass.

The Flag House

BALTIMORE, MD

Located in eastern downtown Baltimore, MD, near Little Italy and Old Town, sits a small brick house on East Pratt Street, the Flag House, wherein Mary Young Pickersgill made America’s first Star-Spangled Banner. Mounted above Fort McHenry’s ramparts during the War of 1812, it survived British rockets and inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem.

More recently, The Flag House‘s garden wall and fencing assemblies met with a car, ruining a portion of the fence and damaging the historic brick. The Durable Restoration Company is replacing each injured brick with historically accurate alternatives. Matching the size, texture, and color of the bricks will produce a seamless and lasting repair. As for the fence, we are fabricating a custom replacement that precisely matches the existing columns.

Keller Residence

UPPER ARLINGTON, OHIO

Built in 1955, in a style typical of upscale 1950’s Midwest suburbia, this house underwent a dramatic transformation.  The owner, who grew up in the area and wished to remain in close proximity to her family nearby, wanted something of a more traditional French style than was available in the neighborhood.  This project included the following:

SANDY KELLER

It was exciting to see the transformation.  I never could have imagined how great the custom slate pattern would look.  The finial that Durable Restoration (Bill) designed is the perfect finishing touch.  The turret looks like it was always a part of the house…… I am absolutely thrilled with the results.  Every time I look at the house I smile.

Bishop's Table, 22 E. 3rd, Maysville, KY

This adaptive reuse project involved restoring and beautifying a former historic restaurant, The Bishop’s Table, and converting it into a residence.  The project included renovations to the garden patio, a new façade for an existing garage, carved Indiana limestone walls, handcrafted wrought-iron gates, and new gas lamps.  This project is located in Maysville, Kentucky, a historic town on the south bank of the Ohio River and known as being an important stop on the Underground Railroad.

Fair Street Christian Church

SPRINGFIELD, OHIO

Our award winning job on this 19th century church began with structural stabilization to the steeple.  Landings and stairs that had long ago deteriorated and were missing when we arrived were rebuilt to original.  Following this interior structural work, we restored the interior and exterior of the masonry, including re-pointing.  Other restoration work on this church included:

Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

The Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle was completed in 1900. It became the cathedral of Jackson Mississippi in 1977 and is currently the seat of the Bishop of Jackson, Mississippi. The structure is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Our work on this project included: