A piece of the past

Donald B. Smith Roofing Inc. installs a new roof on a historical railroad station

The Lincoln Train Station in Gettysburg, Pa., was built in 1858. It has been a part of Civil War history, serving as a makeshift hospital during the summer of 1863 and the arrival spot for Abraham Lincoln when he came to deliver his famous Gettysburg Address. But after going through an expansion in 1886, the station was used less frequently. Its last passenger train passed through in 1942. By the 1990s, the building was in poor condition and needed to be preserved.

Several Gettysburg citizens formed a committee to find funding and a new owner. Their efforts were rewarded when the current owner donated the station to the Borough of Gettysburg. The federal and state governments and community worked for years to raise money to restore the railroad station to its previous glory and reopen it. So when restoration began and the railroad station needed a new roof system, it was important to find a contractor who would respect the building's history and install a roof that would resemble the original one.

Finding a match

John Milner Architects Inc., Chadds Ford, Pa., the architect for the project, tore through the modern roofing material, which was galvanized standing-seam metal, and found the roofing materials and substrates from the 1858 original roof and 1880s addition. Some of the galvanized standing-seam metal roof system was determined to be installed around 1914, an estimation based on newspapers found lying between the metal roof and substrate.