Reynolda House receives Robert James Award for Preservation Excellence for roof rehabilitation work
Award presented annually by the North Carolina Preservation Consortium
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Nov. 9, 2021)—Reynolda House has received the North Carolina Preservation Consortium’s (NCPC) annual Robert James Award for Preservation Excellence for its work to replace its 104-year-old roof.
The award was presented to Reynolda on Nov. 5 by the NCPC and is given to libraries, museums, archives, historic sites and other organizations in North Carolina with a mission to preserve tangible heritage of enduring value. The NCPC defines tangible heritage as “art, artifacts, library and archival collections, natural history specimens, musical instruments, textiles, technology, monuments, memorials, archaeological sites and historic and cultural architecture.”
Reynolda House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to a nationally renowned collection of American art on view in the restored interiors of R.J. and Katharine Reynolds’s 34,000-square-foot 1917 bungalow.
In 2018, Reynolda House was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Infrastructure Challenge grant for the rehabilitation of its historic Ludowici tile roof.
Construction began in July 2021—after a 12-month delay due to COVID—and was completed in early November. The Museum remained open throughout the project.
Construction management of the roof rehabilitation project was led by the Frank L. Blum Company, which built the Museum’s Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing for education and exhibition purposes in 2005. The facilities department of Wake Forest University also provided project oversight and Blum Construction contracted Baker Roofing to install the Ludowici clay tile and the copper flashing, gutters, and downspouts. While the roof was being replaced, the Museum also replaced three of 13 HVAC units, with AC Corporation of Greensboro executing plans by Landmark Facilities Group, Inc. of Norwalk, Conn.
Reynolda House identified the roof as a priority area in 2017, during routine preventative maintenance. In 2018, Reynolda formed an advisory team tasked with identifying historic preservation standards and processes for the project. The team, led by the Museum’s deputy director Phil Archer and facilities director Karl Erik, includes Reynolda’s preservation architect of record Joseph K. Oppermann, P.A., architectural historian Margaret Supplee Smith and historian Thomas Frank, along with Reynolda staff and board members Gwynne Stephens Taylor, Stuart Parks and Cyndi Skaar.
“Installation of the new roof has been a major undertaking, requiring expert craftsmanship, given the complexity of the house and roof design,” said Smith. “I applaud Reynolda for taking on this important project to safeguard its infrastructure for future generations with such historical integrity.”
Reynolda’s clay tile roof, produced by Ohio-based Ludowici-Celadon Tile Company, is a defining architectural feature of the site and serves to protect and preserve the structure, along with the collections housed within it. Reynolda’s roof contains more than 30,000 tiles—150,000 pounds—manufactured by Ludowici, weighing over 70 tons, or the equivalent of thirteen adult elephants. These tiles were replaced with nearly identical tiles and shipped to Reynolda, in matching colors that consist of three shades of green, along with copper guttering and downspouts that matched the originals exactly.
“We are grateful for the countless number of people who contributed to this once-in-a-lifetime historic rehabilitation of the world’s largest bungalow,” said Phil Archer, deputy director at Reynolda House. “And we are delighted that the project has been completed with such historical accuracy, and that our collective efforts have been recognized by the North Carolina Preservation Consortium.”
Reynolda thanks The National Endowment for the Humanities and Wake Forest University for their generous support of the roof rehabilitation project.
Reynolda is set on 170 acres in Winston-Salem, N.C. and comprises Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village Shops and Restaurants. The Museum presents a renowned art collection in a historic and incomparable setting: the original 1917 interiors of Katharine and R. J. Reynolds’s 34,000-square-foot home. Its collection is a chronology of American art and featured exhibitions are offered in the Museum’s Babcock Gallery and house bedrooms. The Gardens serve as a 134-acre outdoor horticultural oasis open to the public year-round, complete with colorful formal gardens, nature trails and a greenhouse. In the Village, the estate’s historic buildings are now home to a vibrant mix of boutiques, restaurants, shops and services. Plan your visit at reynolda.org and use the mobile app Reynolda Revealed to self-tour the estate.