NPS Chooses DaVinci Shake for Historic Mansion

Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia is not the ideal location for real cedar shake roofing. Constant salt air and sea spray diminish the lifespan of natural cedar, but synthetic shake resists coastal weather. That’s a key reason why DaVinci Select Shake composite roofing in the Aged Cedar color was selected to replace cedar shakes on the island’s Plum Orchard mansion.

With its new synthetic shake roof that resists coastal weather, Plum Orchard will enjoy protection for decades to come.
Extravagant Gift

Built in 1898, Plum Orchard was constructed as a wedding gift from Lucy Carnegie to her son George Lauder Carnegie and his new wife Margaret Thaw. The famous Carnegie family entertained many guests there over the years. Now a part of the U.S. National Park Service, the Georgian Revival style structure’s aging roof recently needed help.

Per the rules of the National Park Service, any preservation work performed on a national landmark must provide the same look as the original construction. This is to maintain the historical accuracy of the property. While the Carnegie family commissioned a real cedar roof, the harsh climate of Coastal Georgia makes it impractical to continually replace.

The Synthetic Shake Solution

Fortunately, the team at Register Roofing had a different idea. Their team recommended a composite roofing solution from DaVinci Roofscapes. It perfectly matches the traditional cedar shake roof in appearance. However, it far exceeds the natural cedar in performance. With Class 4 impact and Class A fire ratings, synthetic shake resists coastal weather, including standing up to high winds and nearby ocean conditions.

“The Carnegie family was all about innovation,” says Lincoln Register, president of Register Roofing out of Jacksonville, Florida. “We like to think they’d appreciate this man-made roofing that offers so many advanced characteristics and strengths. Unlike the natural cedar, this product resists splitting, rotting, mold and mildew. In addition, it resists fading, insects and storm damage!”

DaVinci synthetic shake that resists coastal weather is also easy to install.Easy Installation

Although this was the first DaVinci roof the Register Roofing team has installed, they moved ahead confidently.

“The ease of installation allowed us to complete the durable composite roofing project for roughly the exact cost of installing a true-wood cedar shake roof,” says Register. “We enjoyed seeing this project come together. The DaVinci product looks very realistic. It would be a challenge for even the Carnegies to walk up to the home and try to tell the difference from natural shake!”

Final Touches

To give the project the final touches, Register Roofing installed copper gutters. Costs and time were saved when the roofing team fabricated the gutters at their in-house metal shop.

“Historic preservation is just one of our areas of expertise,” says Register. “We’re proud of our work on Plum Orchard. And, we’re looking forward to recommending the DaVinci product for more projects in our area in the future.”