Conservancy President Eileen Javers (far left) and Board member Shirley Hanson (far right) present Frank Tuscano of Cheltenham Roofing (left) and homeowner John Miller (right) with their 2018 Preservation Recognition Award.

by Shirley Hanson, Chestnut Hill Conservancy

This is the fifth year for the Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s Preservation Recognition Awards. One award praised Ann and Jack Kelly’s cornice restoration. The Kellys were unable to be present at the Conservancy’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, Jan. 6. There to receive the award was the Meyer Restoration Team of Chris Meyer, Dennis Meyer and Carol Ann Hartley of Dennis F . Meyer, Inc. and Meyer Woodworks.

“We feel very fortunate to work in a community that has a collective sense of stewardship,” Dennis Meyer said. “The main thing that makes the preservation award great is that it recognizes both the homeowner and the people performing the work.

“The architecture in Chestnut Hill is so rich and diverse that individual care and attention to detail must be taken for each house. There is never a one-size-fits-all solution. Working in the community for over 50 years has prepared us for these challenges, and we embrace our role as stewards of the future of Chestnut Hill.”

The Kellys asked the Meyer team to restore the rotted cornice around the entire house. Built in 1861 in the Italianate Style, the house displayed a striking cornice with massive overhanging eaves, hefty decorative brackets and heavy crown molding. Over time, roof leaks and other issues attacked and deteriorated large areas of these wooden elements. Then, the Kellys made the commitment to give them the love and care for which they called out for.

To this their cornice, the Meyer team members applied its exceptional restoration touch. First, they went up three stories to assess the actual damage. Next, they took the pieces for replacement back to their shop to match them exactly. Then came the process of grinding cutting knives to the exact profile of the original architectural element.

Chris Meyer displays the original molding and custom cutting knives.

They replaced what couldn’t be repaired and repaired everything else.

Thanks to the Kellys’ commitment and the Meyers’ know-how, the home gained a restored cornice that beautifully serves its Italianate style and will delight us for many decades.

Next, here’s the story of what you can do when a large branch from a tree crashes through the roof of your historic home, built in 1917.

The Conservancy recognized John and Jolene Miller, owners of 416 W . Moreland Ave., and Frank Tuscano of Cheltenham Roofing for their tenacity in getting the details right for this extraordinary home.

The goal was to replace the damaged roof – its slate, gutters and downspouts, and the wooden roof deck. Also, the work included replacing its damaged valleys with 16 oz. copper and its gutter hangers with 16 oz. copper shanks and circles.

Tuscano went the extra mile, literally, to search for and find 300 salvaged slates in Ohio to replace the damaged ones to match the undamaged, weathered surrounding slates. The work displayed patience and tenacity to bestow this extra care on the Millers’ roof, a key feature of their remarkable home.

The Conservancy expresses its continued appreciation for the commitment of the Millers and Cheltenham Roofing to all the details to restore the damaged roof.

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