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THE inPAINT INTERVIEW ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATOR

Renew, Restore, Revitalize: Historic Preservation & Conservation HOW SKILLED CRAFTSMEN ANALYZE MATERIALS TO MAINTAIN RICH ARCHITECTURAL TRADITION AND DESIGN Thirty years ago, Ron Koenig was inspired to pursue a career in architectural restoration and conservation following a project he worked on at the Michigan State Capitol. It was there he learned how to stencil, glaze, and perform other decorative painting techniques to preserve the historic building, which was constructed in 1877. Today, Koenig is a highly skilled architectural conservator and owner of Building Arts & Conservation Inc. The Michigan-based consulting firm and contracting company maintains an impressive restoration portfolio that includes courthouses, museums, libraries and churches, along with other notable buildings. BY MEGHANN FINN SEPULVEDA

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inPAINT | Feb/Mar 2018

Q

What is the nature of your work?

We specialize in the conservation of historic architectural materials and help our clients preserve buildings and structures. We investigate, analyze and assess materials and provide planning support, project management, and hands-on restoration and conservation, while following the guidelines set by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).

Not only do we remove paint, but we document the original type of paint and determine how it was applied. The most popular type of paint used in the United States prior to 1930 was calcimine paint, which was often applied to ceilings and other high areas. Milk-based paints, which were very durable, were also prevalent hundreds of years ago. When we work on a historic project, we carefully examine the paint under a microscope to successfully replicate and achieve the structure’s architectural features. Our restoration services also extend to other materials such as plaster, wood, metallic leaf, glazes, stencils, metals, glass and masonry.

Do contract requirements for historic properties differ from commercial and/or residential work?

Q

Yes. Contracts and specifications for historic properties can differ from standard commercial/residential work and will often contain preservation-specific language that helps protect the building from damage as a result of unqualified contractors. In general, we find that building owners, architects, and general contractors use information provided

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