In 2009, the Rotary-Frazee Restoration Inc. completed a vital step in the restoration effort. Accepting the expert advice of Historic Building Architects, LLC, the Frazee organization contracted with Jetco Unlimited, Inc., and completed a $45,000 project to erect load-bearing temporary supports from floor to roof within the Frazee house to assure the integrity of the structure in the event of stressful conditions such as heavy snow. An engineering analysis of the house disclosed telltale sagging that suggested a precarious state. Examination of ways in which the house had been maintained over many decades disclosed the use of massive materials (brick nogging) in upper parts of the house that by now added to the burdens on the house’s framework. Therefore, before restoration, and to ensure the safety of any who work on and in the house, a temporary stiffening was required to ensure the roof and walls remain intact.
Where the vertical elements rest on the attic floor, immediately beneath that point on the ceiling below, another vertical element takes the load, and so the weight of the roof is transferred to temporary basement footings resting on the solid earth. Other framing elements tie members horizontally to ease stresses. The framing is temporary but should serve for a decade or more to ensure the Frazee house will stand under any foreseeable conditions.
The Frazee organization desires as much as possible to reconstruct the house with materials authentic to the years 1761 to 1815 (the ‘period of significance’). Yet much of the fabric of the house, including termite-weakened elements needing replacement, already consists of ‘inauthentic’ 19th and even 20th century materials installed in previous reconstructions. Our current restoration will proceed faster if elements already more recent than 1815 are identified for replacement with modern materials at lower cost than historic materials. That will enabe us to invest efficiently in a restoration that is both authentic and practical.