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University Replaces Roof on Historic Hall

By Ryan Berlin Roofing
roof repair

Roofing systems are one of the most important components of commercial or institutional facilities. No matter the type of roof, maintenance and engineering managers need to make sure it is properly inspected, tested and maintained. But even when properly maintained, roofs sometimes repairs and, in the worst cases, replacement. High-profile facilities are no exception.

The roof and cupola rising above Princeton University’s iconic Nassau Hall will be the center of a restoration project set to begin this summer, according to the university. The project includes replacing the slate roof, restoring the cupola on top of the hall, resurfacing the cupola’s clocks, and enhancing safety systems. The university expects to complete the project by March 2019.

During the restoration, workers will replace the entire slate roof and copper gutters and add snow guards. The structure of the cupola will be restored and repainted, including the cupola’s four clocks and weathervane. Systems to support safer access to the roof and cupola also will be added.

The building’s roof was last replaced in the early 1960s, according to Alexis Mutschler, assistant director of special projects in facilities. The decorative cupola was part of Nassau Hall’s original design, though its look has changed following building fires and other renovation work. The clocks on the cupola were modernized in the 1950s, and the clock mechanism was changed from analog to digital in the 1980s.

The building also holds an impprtant place in American history. During the Revolutionary War, British soldiers occupied Nassau Hall but soon surrendered to Gen. George Washington’s troops, who had attacked the structure with artillery. A scar from an American cannonball remains evident on the south side of the west wing.

The building also was the temporary home of the Continental Congress and was the site where the Congress learned the British had signed a peace treaty granting independence to the former colonies in 1783. Nassau Hall was named a national historic landmark in 1960.

This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.


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