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Phinney Center getting ‘new’ old roof

On Friday we ran a picture of two workers cleaning off the roof of the Phinney Neighborhood Center’s brick building. Bill Fenimore, the PNA’s Facility Director, just sent us some more information about exactly what they’re doing.

He says that while the PNA was renting the buildings from the Seattle School District, the PNA was still responsible for preserving the campus. Now that the PNA has purchased its long-time home, they’re accelerating those efforts, while staying true to its landmark status. The PNA is working to reduce its energy and water use through its commitment to the Living Building and Site challenge.

This also means that any work done on the buildings will be guided by best practices that consider repair as the first option. We are also committing to using sustainable materials. We have known for some time that our greatest need is the repair of the Brick Building roof. The roof is the original slate that dates from 1917. Many contractors advised us that our only option was to demolish the existing roof and replace it. In the end, we found a slate expert, Ross Morgan, who is able to rebuild the roof and only replace the individual slates that are broken. We will re-use well over 90% of the existing slate, in effect “mining” Vermont slate in Seattle, and reinstall each tile with new copper nails. We will bring in enough matching slate (by rail) to fill in for the ones that we can’t re-use.

Once the workers are finished cleaning the slate, they’ll lift up and reset each piece of slate. Fenimore says all of the flashing and skylights will be restored to match the original. They expect to get another 100 years out of the “new” old roof.