MOUNT VERNON — The Historical Review Committee gave its approval to the next step in restoring the H.M. Young House at 112 E. Gambier St.
The 168-year-old home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was damaged by a fire Dec. 16, 2008. It is of the Greek Revival style of architecture.
Tim Hess of Tim Hess Builders requested the committee’s approval to install a truss system on the home and install replacement windows. Installing both would allow the roof to be put on, thus making the home watertight and minimizing further wind or rain damage.
Hess said the foundation is in good shape, and the floors, although they got wet and might need some repair, are in good shape as well.
“On the second floor the walls burned, so we’ll have to take some walls off and replace them with 2-by-4s,” he said.
The original construction used balloon framing, a method whereby 26-foot-long studs were used, reaching from the foundation to the eaves. Because lumber of that length is difficult to be found, repairs will have to be made independently on each floor.
The home was re-sided with vinyl siding somewhere between 1975 and 1979; Hess said the wood underneath the vinyl is in good shape, as is the interior winding staircase. The interior hand rails will be removed until the structure is covered and made water-tight, then will be replaced.
“For the interior, we are going to try and go back with the original stuff,” said Hess. “We will use drywall instead of plaster, and we’ll make sure the wiring is up to date and the heating is up to date.
“I would like to try and insulate the walls to make it as efficient as possible,” he added.
Hess said the exterior will pretty much look the same.
“I don’t see where we’re going to lose any character with what we want to do,” he said.
Mount Vernon resident Wayne Gottke is the property manager and is representing the out-of-state owner during the renovation process. According to Gottke, the insurance company has not yet closed the claim.
“The insurance company is still working on numbers to restore the home; we hope to have that this week, or next week at the latest,” he said.
Because the numbers are not yet known, final decisions have not been made regarding what type of roofing material will be used. The previous roof was a combination of asphalt shingles, slate and some tin on the back.
“Our ultimate goal is to have the building look as close as it did before the fire, and to preserve as much of the historical value as possible,” said Gottke.
The commission gave its approval to installing the trusses and windows; the work is estimated to take about six weeks. Once that work is completed and more specific decisions have been made on other renovations, Hess and Gottke will revisit the commission.