Ten-Hut! Soldiers Install Bellaforté Shake on Historic Project

Forget about “sending in the cavalry.” When residents of Northport, Washington need help, they get it from the U.S. Army — in the form of the 176th Engineer Vertical Construction Company!

17 soldiers are helping restore a 1901 structure that will soon house the Northport Welcome Center Museum and Artisans Gallery. They’ve taken the roof off an old boarding house down to its frame and started rebuilding. This summer they topped it off with a Bellaforté Shake roof.

Stepping Back into HistoryHistoric Project

The restoration project started with Rose Kalamarides. She’s a fourth-generation Northport resident. As a volunteer for the Northport Historical Society, she had an idea. Renovate an old hotel and lodging house to use as a central place of hospitality for Northport.

“Our biggest challenge was finding labor,” says Kalamarides. “Good fortune connected me with Sgt. Andrew Larkin. He and his team were supporting wildland firefighters in our area. He heard me talking up the project with some locals. It piqued his interest.”

Stepping Up to the Task

According to Larkin, something clicked as he listened to Kalamarides. His unit’s mission is to conduct vertical and horizontal construction. Members have skills in carpentry, electricity, plumbing, heavy equipment and construction. Something told him his team could help Northport.

“This was fate. It was destiny. It was the coolest thing to happen,” says Kalamarides.

Now, for two weeks each year, members of the 176th unit come to Northport. This historic project will take up to three years to complete, but it’s moving forward. When finished, the building will house a museum, visitor’s center and artisan gallery. The upstairs will become nightly rentals to help sustain the operation.

Selecting Synthetic Shake

“This house needs a ton of work,” says Kalamarides. “We are starting with the roof and working down.”

To keep the house historically accurate, it was decided to find a simulated cedar shake for the roof. The goal was to find something that lasts longer and provides more durability than real cedar shake.

“The Bellaforté product in a Tahoe color fits our budget and our needs,” says Kalamarides. “Working with the DaVinci Roofscapes team was really great. They are just as excited about the project as we are!”

Up on the RoofBFSH Commercial

Members of the 176th Engineer Vertical Construction Company had installed roofing before. However, they’d never installed synthetic shakes.

“DaVinc’s expert, Eric Salvesen, provided virtual training to our soldiers before installation,” says 1st Sgt. Andrew Larkin. “He was also available to assist throughout the project, which was incredibly helpful.

“There’s a learning curve when installing a new product. However, with the video, installation guides and assistance from Eric, the project went very smoothly. Eight soldiers installed the Bellaforté roof during our last visit to Northport and it looks great!”

Next Steps

According to Kalamarides, the completely refurbished project is expected to open Labor Day 2022. New windows, siding, millwork and electrical wiring have to be done by the soldiers before that can happen.

“We intend to register this project on the Historic Registry when it’s finished,” says Kalamarides. “I’m sure we’ll have a smashing big party for members of the 176th when that happens!”

As for the soldiers, according to Larkin they’re happy to have a direct and positive impact on the Northport community.

“Our team is getting solid training while seeing how their efforts bring tangible results that will last a long time,” says Larkin. “This is really a ‘passion project’ for all of us. We’re dedicated to seeing this historic project through to completion and celebrating with the people of Northport!”