Jun 25

Zion Hill Update - June 2021

Posted on June 25, 2021 at 11:18 AM by Jessica Sowell

Over the last month it has been progress, progress, progress at the Zion Hill Church! The interior of the building is now completely covered by scaffolding - this is put in place so the workers can access and work on hard-to-reach parts of the building. Extensive structural carpentry was completed this month including replacing rotten studs, reinforcing the roof, bracing the southeast corner and installing a 22ft structural column in the southeast corner that will provide essential structural integrity for years to come. The column weighs in at approximately 750lbs and had to be carefully placed, after a few test runs, so that it would reinforce the structure but not put pressure anywhere else.

The biggest, most noticeable, progress we've made this month is starting on the roof replacement! Marsh Waterproofing, our subcontractor for that portion of the project, has been on site removing old shingles and replacing decking as needed. The roof will be done in sections to make sure any and all rotten wood is found and replaced.

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As if this project wasn't already exciting enough - we've added stinging insects to the mix! Bees were found in the brick work under the southeast door and since we'd like to do our part of save the dwindling honeybee population, we're working with a local bee keeper to relocate the colony. You never know what you'll find during a restoration!

May 20

Zion Hill Update - April 2021

Posted on May 20, 2021 at 3:32 PM by Jessica Sowell

On March 15-17 Red River Restoration removed 16 basement windows for restoration. Red River Restoration has a shop in Austin where they restore wood windows by hand - they were even featured on an episode of Texas Country Reporter!

As we all know the Zion Hill roof is in poor condition and will be replaced early on in the restoration process. We selected the replacement roof color and the shingles have been ordered. We selected Rustic Black, a color similar to the one Nacogdoches County Historical Foundation installed almost 20 years ago.

When it comes to historic buildings, nothing is ever uniform. Cox Contractors was reminded of that when milling the siding for the interior of Zion Hill - some portions of the siding have different measurements than other parts. This lead to them having to make 2 custom knives and order 80% of one siding size and 20% of another size - the wood profiles are the same, but the widths are different. We assume that all of the siding was the same size when it was originally cut in 1914, but the wood may have aged differently or been effected by the elements in different ways. Milling of the siding is now complete and ready to be installed once the interior shoring is complete. All non-structural interior walls in the basement have been removed and the lumber for the interior shoring has been delivered.

In 2001 & 2005 the Nacogdoches County Historical Foundation received a Texas Preservation Trust Fund Grant. One of the conditions of the grant was having a preservation easement on the property until 2050 - this means that the Texas Historical Commission has to review all work done on the property before a project is started. A representative of THC recently visited the site to do routine easement monitoring and took some fantastic pictures while she was here. We've included a few!

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Mar 12

Zion Hill Update - March 2021

Posted on March 12, 2021 at 10:36 AM by Jessica Sowell

Progress and...
I'm happy to report that we are making a lot of progress on the Zion Hill restoration project! We were very fortunate to make it through the mid-February snow storm with no damage to the building. Since the snow and ice have thawed and things have returned to normal, we have been able to make large strides with our restoration project. All pews and fixtures were moved by our Parks staff from the building into storage, the lead paint encapsulation has wrapped up and Cox Contractors has started on selective demolition.

Several non-historic walls were removed from the basement including the main dividing wall, restroom walls, the large kitchen counter and closet enclosures. This means there has been a lot of noise and a lot of mess at the site, but those are all great signs of progress! Our next steps are to install a few more sections of interior scaffolding that will be used as work platforms and identify the basement windows that will be removed and restored off site. Be prepared to see plywood in several window opening, but don't worry, they're only temporary!

With the help of the Nacogdoches Police Department drone, we were able to capture some amazing photos of the Zion Hill Church in the snow. Also included are a few photos of where lead paint was found and treated on the building as well as a photo of the basement without walls. We hope you enjoy these behind the scenes images!