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Year-and-a-half long roof repair and restoration finally finishe - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Year-and-a-half long roof repair and restoration finally finished at Hearst Castle

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A huge restoration project at Hearst Castle is finally finished, and the scaffolding can come down around the main house.  

For the last 19 months, crews have been planning, designing, and installing a new roof on Casa Grande. The nearly 14,500 square feet of ceramic tile on the roof helps to protect and preserve the priceless art and architecture of Hearst Castle. The repair project involved some interesting challenges, including efforts to protect sensitive species of bats and lichens. This required scheduling removal of the tile outside the bats' breeding season as well as saving and re-using as many of the original lichen-covered roof tiles as possible.

"The successful completion of the Hearst Castle roof project was essential for us to continue our mission to educate and to inspire the public's interest in art, architecture and history through public access," said Brooke Gutierrez, Acting District Superintendent of the San Luis Obispo Coast District of California State Parks.

Hearst Castle is a state historic monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a designated historic building, Casa Grande could only be repaired by re-use of the highest proportion possible of original roof materials to maintain the historic fabric of the estate. In keeping with these efforts, the original, traditional method of fastening with wire hooks was used to re-secure all the tiles in order to preserve the historic character of the original roof.

The roofing contractor for the project was Best Construction Services, Inc. of Gardena, California, and the Historic Restoration contractor was Spectra Company of Pomona, California. Architectural services were provided by the San Francisco office of Page and Turnbull.

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