From Asbestos to Zinc

Roofs are perhaps the most critical features of a building. They protect not only the structure itself, but the interior spaces, furnishings, and human occupants. This web feature is a facsimile of an exhibit on roofing for historic buildings entitled: "From Asbestos to Zinc", prepared for roofing professionals attending the 1999 Roofing Conference and Exposition for Historic Buildings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Navigate through the sidebar to learn more about the appearance, composition, manufacture and application of roofing materials and systems. Click your mouse on thumbnail images to view many of the drawings and photographs in greater detail.

Throughout history, roofing materials and installation practices have reflected both advances in technology and shifting tastes in architectural styles. Understanding something of the history of this critical building component is an important starting point for decisions about treatments that are the focus of several of the Preservation Briefs, easy to read guides on preserving, rehabilitating and restoring historic buildings. The Technical Services Branch of the National Park Service produces and publishes this information in order to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of roofing in historic buildings and to stimulate public efforts for more sensitive preservation and rehabilitation work.

[Graphic] Image of a historic weathervane, symbol used to identify the conference and exhibit

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