The Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County (HPTBC) is pleased to announce that its 1753 Keim House Historic Restoration Project will receive Preservation Pennsylvania’s 2017 statewide Initiative Award for Preservation Stewardship at a ceremony in Harrisburg on October 12. This project was led by Tom and Chris Lainhoff who authentically restored the original elements of the 1753 house using period carpentry and joining methods. This is the second significant event for the property within the past year. In December 2016, the Keim Homestead became Berks County’s third National Historic Landmark.
The five-year restoration campaign concluded in the fall of 2016 began with removal of the two-wall 1930s porch which had obscured or distorted numerous iconic and distinguishing architectural features and details. After restoration of the stonework damaged and altered by the attached 20th century porch, the missing pent roof and balcony were re-constructed with authentic joinery methods and materials, in dimensions provided by clear evidence from the building itself. Expert microscopic paint analysis determined the earliest colors, which were reproduced by carefully matching modern paints to re-produce the early finish on the balcony, windows, shutters, and cellar-cap. The plastered cove cornice, documented by photographs, was lathed and re-plastered on the original curved joist-brackets.
The HPTBC is a non-profit organization that acquires, preserves, and maintains historically and architecturally significant properties in Berks County, Pennsylvania and educates Berks County and its’ visitors about the role these sites played in Pennsylvania and American history. The Trust seeks to foster community involvement and support in promoting awareness and appreciation of historic structures and encouraging their adaptive reuse. The Trust currently owns and maintains eight historically significant buildings in the greater Reading/Berks County area. Our office is located in the White Horse Inn on Old Philadelphia Pike in Douglassville. If you are interested in donating to the Trust please call 610-385-4762 or visit www.historicpreservationtrust.org.