Restoration of the Mexican War Midshipmen’s Monument

9 Sep

Aeon just completed the restoration of the Mexican War Midshipmen’s Monument, Aeon’s second major project at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The monument was an 1848 gift by the Academy’s Brigade of Midshipmen. The restoration was made possible thanks to a gift from the Class of 1986. The monument was unveiled at a ceremony this morning during reunion weekend.

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Aeon Turns Six Years Old

5 May

We are pleased to report that Aeon has reached it sixth anniversary. We posted a record year last year and continue to do well.Aeon is currently working on projects for a wide range of clients including Federally owned properties managed by the Architect of the Capitol, GSA, the Smithsonian Institute, the U.S. Naval Academy Annapolis, the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We also have many private clients including churches, historic residential clients, non-profit organizations, and smaller local communities. We work on whole buildings or facades, highly ornamental parts of historic buildings, doors (lots of doors!), windows, monuments and large artifacts.

We have a great team and feel truly blessed. Thank you for your support!

Deicing Options for Historic Buildings

14 Jan

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Corrosion on an Aluminum Door Frame caused by Deicing Salts

In any climate where temperatures reach below freezing, deicing walkways will be required for safety reasons.  Yet all deicing methods are not created equal. The best available method is mechanical heating of the walkway surface to eliminate the chance for ice to form; however, this method is cost-prohibitive and not always practical to install for historic buildings. Alternative chemical deicers are more affordable, but come with a host of other considerations, including their compatibility with historic building materials.

The most common deicer used in the United States and internationally is sodium chloride (NaCl, or table salt).  Sodium chloride is inexpensive and easily sourced, but employing it as a deicer can be very harmful to historic building fabric. Both sodium chloride and other salt-based deicers—including calcium chloride (CaCl2), magnesium chloride (MgCl2), and potassium chloride (KCl)—are highly corrosive to many building materials. So though sodium chloride is cost-effective, using it or other chlorides as deicers near a historic structure will necessitate more money and effort spent in conservation repairs over time.

Instead, building stewards should consider acetate deicers, the gentlest of which is calcium magnesium acetate (CMA).  Sodium acetate (NaOAc) is also minimally corrosive.  A third acetate deicer, potassium acetate (CH3COOK), is more corrosive but still less harmful than chloride deicers. By choosing one of these deicers instead of sodium chloride, time,money, and historic integrity can ultimately be saved.

New Projects for a New Year

29 Dec

Union Station 1924 Press Photo

Aeon is wrapping up 2015 and getting ready for 2016 with a number of new projects including the restoration of the c1908 Rostral Columns at Union Station in Washington DC. This project involves laser scanning the ornamental cast iron columns, light poles, and granite to create CAD drawings to assist us in developing a program of repair.

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Happy Holidays from Aeon!

21 Dec

Jabba Party

Aeon would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season.  We celebrated this weekend with a staff trip to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, followed by a Star Wars-themed dinner with family and friends.   (And for anyone who doubts that Star Wars fits with preservation, the National Register of Historic Places has some thoughts on the subject.) 

New Glass for the Capitol Dome

7 Dec

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The Architect of the Capitol just released a great new video of glass being made for the U.S. Capitol Dome project. “In August 2015, new glass was rolled and trimmed to replace the badly damaged and unstable historical cupola windows. The glass was made using a traditional process, similar to what was used to create the original 1860s windows. This method is used to recreate the wavy “metal chilled” surface texture of the current windows while updating them to today’s standards. The glass panels were then laminated with a polyurethane resin, which improves the safety and durability of the glass.”  The video can be seen here.

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New glass going in on the U.S. Capitol Dome (Architect of the Capitol Photo)

Happy Veteran’s Day from Aeon

11 Nov

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Historic Photograph of the Norfolk Navy Yard circa 1905

This Veteran’s Day, Aeon would like to thank veterans of the United States military for their service. Aeon is proud to work closely with the armed services to preserve historic buildings and monuments at military sites, including current projects taking place at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia (pictured above) and at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.