Striking Asphalt Shingle Roof Tops the Restored Music Hall in Cincinnati

Originally designed by Samuel Hannaford in the 19th Century, the Music Hall first opened its doors in 1878. The Music Hall Revitalization Company coordinated the restoration of the 139-year old Cincinnati landmark, which just reopened to the public Oct. 6, 2017.
Photos: CertainTeed

The Cincinnati Music Hall is considered one of the largest and most beautiful concert halls and theaters in the world. It has played host to iconic performances and events for more than a century, from the 1880 Democratic National Convention to performances that helped shape the American arts scene.

A vision and product of 19th century architect Samuel Hannaford, Music Hall—as it’s known across the Queen City—first opened its doors to the public in 1878. Yet the doors on the 225,000-square-foot facility have been closed since May 2016 to allow for a complex interior and exterior restoration effort that would propel the aging building into the modern era while also preserving its beautifully unique characteristics.

The Charge

Restoring the beauty of Hannaford’s showpiece was more than a simple facelift. According to the Music Hall Revitalization Company, the nonprofit coordinating and leading the renovation, engineers investigating the building discovered structural deterioration beyond what one would expect in a 139-year old building, and recommended actions secure the Music Hall’s long-term viability.

The $135 million Music Hall renovation began in the spring of 2016, with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) overseeing construction. Following a rigorous request for proposals, 3CDC chose Imbus Roofing to install the new roof.

The Music Hall has been traditionally adorned with high-end shingles, and Grand Manor luxury asphalt shingles from CertainTeed were chosen to replicate the slate aesthetic and stand up to the elements. Photos: CertainTeed

Principal Daniel Imbus and his team were more than up to the task. Not only had Imbus Roofing performed the bulk of the roofing work at Music Hall over the past few decades, they have a rich legacy in the greater Cincinnati area. Among the other high-profile projects with connections to Imbus roofing are the Proctor & Gamble Twin Towers, the Walnut Hills Copper Dome, Paul Brown Stadium and the original Riverfront Stadium.

The team at Imbus worked closely with 3CDC, PWWG Architects and local distributor Midwest Roofing Supply to nail the aesthetic and capture the original essence of Music Hall.

“The roof replacement was a big part of the project, not only for protecting all the interiors that were being restored or replaced, but for the overall look of the building,” Imbus explains. “With the older building and the amount of other work being performed, just getting around the building and scheduling work around other trades such as painting, masonry, HVAC, etc., required a lot of planning.”

The Installation

Imbus partnered with Seth Dorn, branch manager at Midwest Roofing Supply, to find the appropriate materials to for the front towers, Corbett Tower, and Opera House portions of the roof. According to Dorn, the Music Hall has been traditionally adorned with high-end shingles, so they chose Grand Manor luxury asphalt shingles from CertainTeed to replicate the slate aesthetic and endure the wind, rain, snow and other elements typical to Cincinnati. To recreate the distinctive striped pattern of the roof, crews installed approximately 600 squares of Grand Manor shingles in two colors, Stonegate Gray and Brownstone.

The roof’s distinctive striped pattern was recreated with 600 squares of Grand Manor shingles in two colors, Stonegate Gray and Brownstone. Photos: CertainTeed

“We serviced Imbus Roofing with all potential materials for the project,” Dorn notes. “In addition to the shingles, we supplied DiamondDeck and WinterGuard underlayments from CertainTeed to further enforce weather protection.”

A large part of the roof replacement was the Main Hall, which sits above lower sections of the building and has a steep slope. To perform this installation, the Imbus Roofing team had to build scaffolding along the full gutter lines to provide safe and secure roof access and work platforms.

“With the steep slope of the roof, the shingles are an integral part of the exterior look of this historic building,” says Imbus. “It’s an introduction to the amazing interior renovation and exterior restoration.”

The Reopening

The project, more than seven years in the making, was completed on Oct. 1, 2017. The doors officially re-opened on Oct. 6 to kick off a weekend of events that included an opening night gala, a community Open House, and a pair of concerts featuring the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“It looks awesome,” reflects Dorn. “We will spotlight this job for all of our contractors and customers.”

“We had a great experience with this project,” Imbus adds. “It was a quick schedule with a lot of work to a signature building of Cincinnati. It is great being a part of a successful project that I think will impress everyone in the community.”

TEAM

Developer: Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), Cincinnati, 3CDC.org
Architect: PWWG Architects, Pittsburgh, PWWGgarch.com
Project Coordinator: Music Hall Revitalization Company, Cincinnati, Musichallcincinnati.org
Construction Manager: Messer Construction, Cincinnati, Messer.com
Roofing Contractor: Imbus Roofing, Wilder, Kentucky, Imbusroofing.com
Local Distributor: Midwest Roofing Supply, Cincinnati, Midwestroofingsupply.com

MATERIALS

Steep-Slope Roof System: Grand Manor luxury asphalt shingles, CertainTeed, CertainTeed.com
Underlayments: DiamondDeck and WinterGuard, CertainTeed

Ultra-Steep Slope Roof Poses Challenges in Historic Church Re-Roofing Project

Century Christian Church is a landmark building in Owensboro, Kentucky. Completed in 1963, the church is included on the Kentucky Historic Register and recognized for its unique architectural style.
Photos: Owens Corning

At Century Christian Church in Owensboro, Kentucky, it is not the steeple that points toward the heavens above, but rather the entire roof. The church’s 50/12 pitch roof has become one of the most distinguishing features in the local landscape.

Completed in 1963, Century Christian Church is included on the Kentucky Historic Register and recognized for its unique architectural style. In fact, the roof is so eye-catching that it has been incorporated into the church’s website message which reads, “Our roof reaches up; our hearts reach out.” The roof ascends 40 feet and is divided into four quarters or “bows,” with each symbolizing one of the four Gospels in the Bible.

In 2016, the church’s building committee realized it was time for a new roof. Located in an open field apart from other structures, the roof had been struck by lightning on several occasions. The protective cable that ran down the sides of the church as a conduit for lightning strikes had been eroded and just one section of cable was intact. The building’s location also presented airflow challenges. Storms and strong winds crossing the field had caused shingles to loosen and fly off the building.

According to Harold King, a member of the Century Christian Church building committee, the church considered several criteria when selecting All American Home Improvement, LLC in Evansville, Indiana, to complete the re-roofing project. “We wanted a reputable company who was experienced in doing steep slope work, had an excellent safety record, and had a workforce equipped to meet the needs of this labor-intensive job,” he says, adding that the

The roof ascends 40 feet and is divided into four quarters or “bows,” with each bow symbolizing one of the four Gospels in The Holy Bible. Photos: Owens Corning

company’s Owens Corning Roofing Platinum Contractor certification provided additional confidence. “Our Owens Corning area sales manager, John Sabbak, explained the warranty for the re-roofing project and that was very important for us in selecting the materials for the project,” King says, noting that Sabbak also stopped by at different times during the installation to check in on the progress.

A Daunting Task

What were the challenges the roofing contractor faced in tackling the project? “What wasn’t a challenge?” asked Josh Long, Western Kentucky Sales Manager at All American Home Improvement. The metal capping required to protect the building from lightening, and the scorching summer heat during the installation were just a few of the challenges. By far, however, the two most daunting challenges were the safety concerns associated with the pitch and the wind issues that challenged shingle adhesion.

To help foster safety on the steep slopes, teams were assigned to cover each of the four “bows” comprising the roof. The teams used a precisely calculated system of ladders and walkboards to safely navigate and scale the roof. “Roofers getting home to their families safely every night will always be a top priority at Owens Corning,” says Sabbak, noting that All American Home Improvement teams were outfitted with personal protection equipment and participated in advance walk-through processes to safely tackle the project.

Installation teams from All American Home Improvement participated in advance walk-throughs to ensure everyone was well versed in the safety plan. Photos: Owens Corning

The building committee at Century Christian Church also wanted to avoid the safety and aesthetic concerns associated with shingle fly-off. That’s where Owens Corning SureNail Technology and Duration Shingles came into play. Developed to provide exceptional wind resistance, the system can qualify for a 130-mph wind warranty. “The Duration shingle delivered both the performance and the warranty we needed for a job with this kind of pitch and exposure to airflow,” says Long. According to Long, the shingles were also hand sealed as required by Owens Corning for the building’s pitch. “The SureNail Technology made it easy for the teams to install the shingle correctly because the white strip in the middle of the shingle leaves no doubt as to where the nail should go and facilitated a smooth installation,” he says.

As the roofing project progressed, so did public interest. The local newspaper stopped by to capture photos of residents watching the re-roofing spectacle from lawn chairs on the church lawn. The combination of re-roofing a challenging structure, improving the aesthetics of a historic building and scaling a very steep roof made it a memorable project according to Long. “It was a very unusual project from our daily jobs, and the challenges were part of what made the project so fun,” he notes.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: All American Home Improvement, LLC, Evansville, Indiana, 1shingleatatime.com

MATERIALS

Steep-Slope Roof System: Duration Shingles with SureNail Technology, Owens Corning
Underlayment: ProArmor, Owens Corning