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The Dayton VA Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, has provided health care to veterans for the past 141 years, making it one of the U.S.' three oldest veteran administration facilities. The center's Gothic-style chapel was constructed from 1868-70 and was the first religious structure in the U.S. funded by the federal government.

The chapel's original slate roof system featured a large cross with a star-studded border in light colors against a black background. The roof system was replaced many years ago with an asphalt shingle roof system; however, in 2009, the center asked PEDCO, a Cincinnati-based engineering and architecture firm, to replicate the original roof system's design using photos from the late 1800s.

"The old 1800s photos of the roof design were faded and required a great deal of work to configure a new roof layout that accurately would reflect the original roof," says Edward Groh, an architect for PEDCO.

Because the building's existing roof structure could not support the weight of slate, PEDCO specified installation of DaVinci synthetic slate roof tiles. Detroit Cornice & Slate Co. Inc., Ferndale, Mich., began installing the new roof system in November 2009 and finished in March.

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