Rutgers' ambiance

A historical mansion is renovated to match its 1852 design

Attending college gives students the opportunity to try new experiences, consider different ways of thinking and expand their minds. And to spur students' development, colleges and universities try to create attractive, stimulating atmospheres. Although many schools' modern campus designs represent progressive thought, historical buildings equally are part of campuses' architectural features. The Bishop House at New Brunswick-based Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is one historical building that contributes to the university's offerings.

The Bishop House was built in 1852 and acquired by Rutgers in 1925. In 2002, plans were created to restore the building's exterior to the original design. Roofing work was phase one of the restoration project. The more than 30-year-old asphalt shingles, built-in gutters and low-slope roof systems had exceeded their service lives.

The Copper Development Association (CDA); Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau; and architectural firm Elkin/Sobolta & Associates, Rutherford, N.J., created a combined list of roofing contracting companies that could restore the Bishop House. Elkin/Sobolta & Associates requested lists of companies from the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau and CDA because of the vast amount of carpentry, wood shingle and copper work the project would involve. Pieros Construction Co. Inc., Somerville, N.J., was included on the lists and awarded the project.

Pieros Construction was asked to restore the building's roof systems, a chimney and built-in gutters. The company also was asked to build a wood-framed cupola. The Bishop House's original cupola had fallen to disrepair; it was removed from the building in the late 1950s and never replaced. Pieros Construction employed P.S. Construction, Kintnersville, Pa., to help construct the cupola. Pieros Construction then installed the cupola's roof system and fastened the cupola to the Bishop House.

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