This second empire home with a mansard style roof was built in 1886. By 2021, the original slate roofing system had been repaired many times but was at the end of its life. Our client was interested in learning about potential options for the roof replacement. We suggested using a synthetic slate product called, DaVinci Roofscapes. We initially received some opposition from the City of St. Louis, so we worked closely with architect, Mark Hovis, to create full color renderings to present to the Cultural Resources Office, who oversees restoration work in the City’s Historic Districts. Upon receipt of the renderings, we met with the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee. Once we received a positive endorsement from the LSRC, the excitement started to set in and we presented our project to the Cultural Resources Office for approval. The renderings allowed the CRO to better understand our vision for the project and they quickly granted us approval. We knew that this roof restoration was going to be incredible.

Our client chose DaVinci Roofscapes Single Width Slate in “Slate Black” with an accent row of diamond point slates in Castle Grey. We were all in agreement that it was a great choice of roofing materials and would ensure the integrity of the home and maintain the old world charm. Being fully aware of the tedious task ahead of us, we reached out to good friend and fellow preservationist, Joseph Parente of the East Enders Co. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He agreed to travel to St. Louis to assist with the project and was instrumental in the fabrication of the custom copper cornice pieces.

Due to the nature of the manufacturing process, DaVinci synthetic slate does not come in any decorative or custom profiles. One of the big challenges that really set this project apart were the custom fabricated, one of a kind diamond point synthetic slate tiles. Without this important architectural detail, the Cultural Resources Office would not have approved the project. We were able to add several other unique details such as the custom fabricated, individual copper hip caps, and the standing seam copper wall panels and cladding for the dormer. Although it was definitely a challenge, this home turned out to be a true thing of beauty!

Lafayette Square is one of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Louis, Missouri. It is part of the National Historic Register and is recognized nationally as one of the most complete, original Victorian neighborhoods in the country. The neighborhood is anchored by the 30 acre Lafayette Park, which is named in the honor of Marquis de Lafayette, a French statesman who fought under George Washington in the American Revolution.

Saving the future by restoring the past.

East Enders, Co. –

Mark Hovis Designs. –