Every update, upgrade or act of maintenance on an historic building has its historic considerations. It goes with the territory. In the City of Cambridge, in certain designated historic neighborhoods, the Cambridge Historical Commission must approve changes to the exterior of historic buildings in sight of a public way. So it was that we consulted with them on developing a standard for preserving the original clapboards and trim on this imposing Brattle Street Federal style facade, in order to maintain as much as possible of its early 19th century look and feel.
Even though it was not required by statute, we sought their informal guidance on updates to the interior as well. For example, an interior staircase had seen two centuries of service and was now rickety and unsafe. What of the original historic work could be saved and what must be replaced in order to restore stability? The result was that all the treads, risers and balusters were replaced and the railing, newel post and the original stringers preserved.
Original historic fabric has conviction and patina that is impossible to match. As builders ourselves, we respect beautiful installed work and will advocate for its preservation, whenever possible.