2014 Preservation Awards

Cast Iron Balconet Repair

Winner, Greater Portland Landmarks 2014 Preservation Award

Completed Restoration

In 2011, we were asked to evaluate a set of cast iron balconets located on an Historic Register building, and recommend a course of restoration.


Before  Before
Over time, these cast iron upper level/balcony grills had deteriorated badly, and in some instances, the castings were completely missing from the frames. A pattern used in previous repair work was available, and the owners were motivated to proceed.

parkrow.2.before  parkrow.3.before

In this instance, complete restoration would have been cost-prohibitive; even repairs on the scale needed were a large expense. A decision was made to split the repairs into four distinct phases over several years to make the cost more manageable.



In addition, it was noted during preliminary research that the original casting had a “weak spot” in the lower corner where a large number of breaks occurred. As an alternative to replacing every panel that was missing this small corner piece, a partial pattern was created to cast just the missing corners, which were then brazed into place (a substantial cost savings over replacing every damaged panel). Some full panels were also cast and fastened in place, and other new panels were cut apart and used to repair multiple spots. This repair technique allowed us to retain as much of the original ironwork as possible, as well as managing project costs.



To prevent damage to the balconets and the building, all repairs were done in place, on staging. It had been determined early in the planning process that removal would be dangerous, costly, and would run the risk of causing severe damage to the ironwork and building façade.

It was imperative to make this project both affordable and viable. By creatively casting partial panels, and phasing the project over several years, the project became a reality.


This project is notable because it is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when a partnership is created between homeowners and the project team, that it is possible in many instances to repair damaged ironwork rather than remove or replace it, and that this can be done creatively and with flexibility to create an excellent end result.


Cast Iron Fence Re-creation

Nominee, Greater Portland Landmarks 2014 Preservation Award

Cast Irn Fence

This remarkable cast iron fence was re-created based on an old photograph of the house. Based on the photograph and the unusual pattern of the holes in the granite, we were able to locate the correct casting, used in other parts of the city. All granite curbs and posts were reset, adding enhanced drainage to minimize heaving, and the castings and installation were performed in phases over a one-year period. This project is an excellent example of a complete re-creation from the ground up.

Wrought Iron Fence Repair

Nominee, Greater Portland Landmarks 2014 Preservation Award

150vaughan.2.before   150vaughan.6.after2

This vintage wrought iron fence was rescued from a wisteria and restored. The fence was untangled and removed from the wisteria picket by picket, as the client wished to minimize damage to the tree. The fence had also sunk several inches into the ground and was dug out by hand. The unique cast iron footings were preserved, and a gate was fabricated using the original fence. Several lengths of matching fence were fabricated in steel and grouped at the far end of the fence where they are inconspicuous. This project was a blended restoration/repair and new fabrication.