The Fulton House Preservation Project
Over the years, the Fulton House began to slowly deteriorate. A Better Choice, Inc. along with the Derry Historical Society and high school students pressure washed and cleaned the logs. We applied a concrete densification product to the chinking, which is the concrete between the logs.
Built in 1817, Robert Fulton erected a home for his family on a lot on what is now Pittsburgh Street, which remains as one of the village’s main streets in Derry, PA.
The family lived in the attic because the rest of the house served as an inn for animal drovers, who drove cattle and sheep over long distances. By 1850, it was the only remaining inn on the historically significant northern pike, which extended from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh. Travelers came on foot, by wagon and on horseback and many were associated with the then burgeoning railway industry.
In 1953, Bernardine and I.N. Hagan purchased eighty acres in the mountains above Uniontown, PA where their families had lived for generations. After falling in love with the home of their friends the Kaufmanns, Fallingwater, they telephoned Frank Lloyd Wright and asked if he would design a house for them. His answer was: “Of course. Come on out.”
At eighty-six, and hard at work on the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Wright said he could “shake it (Kentuck Knob) out of his sleeve at will” never even setting foot on the site, except for a short visit during the construction phase. This would be one of the last homes completed by Wright.
The Kentuck Knob Preservation Project
As most historical structures do, the Kentuck Knob began to slowly deteriorate. A Better Choice, Inc. stepped in and pressure washed and removed the moss and mold growing on the foundation. We also repaired concrete mortar joints and sealed the stone with a cleaning and densification process to preserve and protect the building against acid rain and pollutants.
The Daughters of the American Revolution
This structure was crumbling and falling apart due to excessive water and humidity. A Better Choice, Inc. removed the horse hair plaster, cleaned and repaired the stone foundation. Once pristine and strengthened, we applied an exclusive custom coating, PG2K, on the stone for beautification and preservation.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a lineage-based membership service organization for women who are directly descended from a person involved in the United States’ struggle for independence. A non-profit group, they work to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism. The organization’s membership is limited to direct lineal descendants of soldiers or others of the Revolutionary period who aided the cause of independence. It currently has approximately 180,000 members in the United States and in several other countries.
The Ward Mansion is the home of the Braddock’s Trail Chapter of DAR. It was built by Samuel Warden, grandson of the Irish immigrant Samuel Warden Sr. He grew up near Mount Pleasant and was a farmer for most of his life. Samuel built the mansion in 1886, his six surviving children were all adults at this time. In 1960, Braddock Trail member Bessie Campbell Cook left part of her Estate to the Braddock’s Trail Chapter, allowing the Chapter to acquire the property.
In 1937 the Lamp Theatre opened in downtown Irwin and for nearly seven decades entertained the residents of Irwin borough. Although the price for a movie may have changed, 21 cents for adults in 1937, the landmark held fast and became a fixture of many memories for young and old alike.
Since closing it’s doors in 2004, the Irwin Borough and its citizens have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of time volunteering to restore the Lamp to its beautified, functional state. A decade later, the historic Lamp Theatre reopened in August of 2015 in an expanded role, hosting live events as well as films.
Relight The Lamp Project
A Better Choice, Inc. removed an old inundated sump pump and installed a water control system with a submersible pressure relief system to control hydrostatic pressure. We then applied a TPO Thermal insulated membrane on the walls to help control condensation and humidity.