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National Park Service Announces Completion of First Exterior Rehabilitation Project at Vancouver Barracks

Building 991
Building 991 as it appears today, at the end of the Vancouver Barracks Building 991 Exterior Envelope Rehabilitation Project.
NPS PHOTO

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News Release Date: November 15, 2013
Contact: Ray Cozby, (360) 816-6238

Who: National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site; DSL Builders, LLC; Weatherguard

What: Completion of Exterior Envelope Rehabilitation Project

Where: Building 991, Vancouver Barracks, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

When: Work began on September 9, and on site work substantially completed on November 8, 2013

VANCOUVER, WA - The National Park Service at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site announced today the completion of the Vancouver Barracks Building 991 Exterior Envelope Rehabilitation Project, under-budget and on-schedule.

As a result, historic Building 991 at Vancouver Barracks, formerly the army post's headquarters and now part of the National Park Service's Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, features new structural roof sheathing, a new roof, repaired exterior wood components and crowning cupola, and new exterior paint.

"The first priority of the National Park Service in managing the buildings on the site is historic preservation," explained Ray Cozby, the park's project manager. "Protecting critical systems, such as the roof and exterior envelope, is first on that list after the caretaking measures we implemented last year." Funding has yet to be identified for interior work that would make the building habitable at this time.

"This project exemplifies National Park Service achievements for future project work in Vancouver Barracks, and serves as a 'best practice' that will help inform and fine-tune our efforts with the area's other historic structures and landscapes," said Tracy Fortmann, park superintendent.

Building 991, completed in 1906, was selected first among the 26 historic buildings in the inventory for several reasons.

Of the five largest signature buildings within East and South Vancouver Barracks, Building 991 was in the worst condition. "Its roof was the oldest and most damaged by the ravages of time," said Alex Patterson, the park's facility manager. "It also had an active, substantial leak in the roof over the stairwell. The roofer later related that he could see right through the worn roof in that area. The integral gutter liners were also leaking in several places and water was intruding into the soffits and wall cavities, causing additional damage," Patterson said.

The project also served as a test for the National Park Service. "Of the five largest signature buildings, it is the smallest and easiest project to fund and execute," said Cozby. "With Building 991, we wanted to test our estimating accuracy, try out our specifications for managing the lead paint and gutter work, and refine and adjust before doing the next, larger, building," Cozby said.

The project work was completed through a contract with the National Park Service with DSL Builders, LLC, of Salem, Oregon - a HubZone firm (located in an economically disadvantaged area and 100% Veterans Affairs Department certified disabled veteran-owned company). The contract price was under budget.

DSL subcontracted with Weatherguard, a firm from Longview, WA, to perform the re-roofing, gutter repairs, and structural sheathing installation work. "Weatherguard is the same contractor who recently completed similar roof replacements on Officer's Row for the City of Vancouver," Patterson said. DSL performed the painting and other work.

This project represents an important visible step in the rehabilitation of the East and South Vancouver Barracks. The National Park Service is committed to revitalize this historic military post into a vibrant public service campus which welcomes visitors from around the region, nation, and internationally.

Background: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is one of the 401 national parks which make up the national park system and is located in both Washington and Oregon. This national park is also the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve, which is located in Vancouver, Washington. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver's role in regional and national development. The National Park Service's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- serve communities in Washington and Oregon and create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.

 
Building 991 in May 2013
Building 991 as it appeared in May, 2013
NPS PHOTO
 
Building 991, September 2013
Building 991 in September, 2013
NPS PHOTO
 
Building 991, October 2013
Building 991 in October, 2013
NPS PHOTO
 
Building 991 in 1906
Building 991 as it appeared shortly after it was completed in 1906

Did You Know?

Image of O.O. Howard from the New York Historical Society's Civil War Treasures Collection

Did you know that a number of U.S. Army generals served at Fort Vancouver NHS’s Vancouver Barracks early in their careers? The list includes Generals Oliver O. Howard, George C. Marshall, Ulysses S. Grant, George B. McClellan, Phillip Sheridan, William T. Sherman, Omar Bradley and George Pickett. More...