Preserving Historic Buildings from the Ground Up

Anyone who works in remodeling (or anyone who lives in a historic neighborhood for that matter) knows that historic architecture is gorgeous but often needs some reinforcement. 

One of our favorite types of projects is working in older homes and buildings where we can refresh the facade and fortify the structure to historic buildings. 

Keeping and preserving old buildings is a unique challenge that typically brings with it several more challenges that weren’t originally scoped – the joys of remodeling

Whether it’s a commercial building, storefront or a home, we love the opportunity to preserve some of our great Lincoln history and continue the legacy by doing construction. 

This storefront was originally a meat market opened in 1923. The building has stayed in the family all these years, as it’s now owned by his great granddaughter. 

After years and years of foot traffic, the floor has moved and settled over time. The wood is gorgeous so we want to preserve it, but had to work with a structural engineer because under it, everything has started to bow in. 

The basement floor is old school – dirt and sand with old limestone and rubble foundations. This type of basement and foundation is super rare to see in Lincoln anymore. 

This is a storefront, so the use of the basement is negligible anyway, but homes in Lincoln with limestone and rubble foundations tend to have more awkward basement problems due to the architectural planning of the time. 

These types of foundations are surprisingly strong and durable while providing a solid defense against water penetration. Stone foundations are usually so thick and bone dry, so any water that hits it just gets absorbed and evaporates out. 

The basement would have been used for dry storage, so the floors were never even poured, so it’s still a dirt floor where there are no new footings. 

To combat the bowing floor, we’re pouring new footings to brace the floor joists. We’re pouring in eight new footings at a foot and a half deep and a foot and a half wide to brace up the entire length and width of the floor so it’ll be extremely durable and ready for the next tenant. 

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