Why hammer three hand-forged nails to fasten window frames around the Bair Drug Store when one would do? Why not recycle 400-year old sunken-then-recovered old-growth logs to make cedar roofing shakes for the circa 1857 Wagon Shop? If the sea captain’s cottage is going to last another couple of centuries, how about preserving it with the same direct-from-nature techniques its original builders used?
On Saturday, October 11 from 9 a.m. to noon, a special, free workshop, “Going Green — A New Approach to Tradition” will reveal the latest environmentally friendly ways to update and upgrade older homes, while reflecting and honoring the time-tested concepts used in their original construction.
Presented by the Town of Steilacoom‚Äôs Preservation and Review Board, the workshop will be held in the Town Hall, 1717 Lafayette St., Steilacoom, Washington‚Äôs first incorporated town founded in 1854.
A panel of experts specializing in historic preservation, including “green” building contractors, an interior designer, and a noted landscape consultant with expertise in heritage and water-friendly plantings, will show how our Pioneer ancestors really had the right idea: build homes sturdy, penny-wise and energy smart. Only now, today‚Äôs new technologies using natural materials allow for eco-friendly enhancements our ancestors could only dream of.
To help illustrate this concept, two Steilacoom historic-home owners will open their doors (including the sea captain‚Äôs house) to you…and the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association invites you to watch as skilled artisans skim shakes from an ancient log to replace the roof of the Nathaniel Orr Wagon Shop, originally built in 1857.
Our presenters would also be available for advance interviews. They include Troy Axe of Legacy Renovations, whose workshop topic will be “Economics of Going Green;” and contractors Duke York and Rick Hjlem, giving tips on how to preserve historic details when renovating an older home.
Acclaimed landscape environmentalist Anna Thurston, owner of Advanced Botanical Resources, will show how to save water, time and money while eliminating chemical use and attracting desirable wildlife to your back yard. Got a heritage tree? Anna will talk about what you can do to preserve what she calls “these sacred jewels” while keeping the views.
To speak to these experts or arrange interviews with Steilacoom homeowners and Jack Brake, the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association’s Wagon Shop roof restoration project manager, please contact Steilacoom Historic Preservation Officer Jennifer Schreck, 253-581-1912; Steilacoom historian and Preservation Review Board (PRB) Chair, Joan Curtis, (253) 584-8623; or PRB Vice Chair Marianne Bull, (253) 584-9410.
Submitted by Carol Saynisch, Member
Steilacoom Preservation Review Board