Treanor Blog/News

Investing in the past for the future

2015-06-16 Posted By: Patty Weaver

A well-thought-out interior preservation effort is more than a capital expense. It’s an investment that can pay off well into the future.

Materials used in 100+ year-old buildings—hardwoods, marble, stone—have already stood the test of time. With the right restoration and maintenance plan, they can easily last another 100 years or more.

During your project, your preservation team will conduct a thorough investigation, leaving you with a comprehensive history that helps you to better understand the significance of your building and how (and why) it was originally designed and constructed.

“As preservation architects, our intent is never to create a false sense of significance. It is to highlight the original architectural features,” says Vance Kelley, principal with Treanor Architects Preservation studio. “We can also help control the budget through thorough investigation.”

For example, when examining a dropped ceiling added for duct installation, you’ll be able to confirm upfront whether a decorative ceiling hides there or whether that space was not meant to be seen. You’ll have clear cost estimates for knowns like marble floor repairs, although unknowns, such as what’s inside aging plaster walls, will be less clear. In all cases, an experienced preservation architect can tell you where specialized craftspeople are required and where you can save money by using non-specialty builders

While your budget may not allow for every single detail that you would love to restore, with clear-cut goals and a practical plan, you can set priorities, make smart decisions and end up with an interior that feels true to its time period.

As your team documents how individual finishes have been restored or replaced, and what levels of maintenance will keep them in fine condition, you’re left not just with a sparkling restoration. You also have the critical information you need to plan for ongoing maintenance and repairs.

“A historic building that’s neglected is like the $100,000 Mercedes that you aren’t cleaning,” says Jeff Russell, who served as legislative services director during the Kansas Statehouse restoration. “It is up to us to take care of what our forefathers have created.”

A carefully crafted preservation effort makes that possible—today and well into the future.

COMING SOON: We’ll be taking an in-depth look at some of the interior finishes that define our most treasured historic buildings. Watch for future emails to help you make the most of yesterday’s interiors.

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