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Progress Report: Ridge Cap Project

Posted on 05/14/2015 by Sharon Bell Comments(2)

Just like your house, Biltmore House sometimes has a leak or two in the roof. A crew with Huber & Associates recently spent a few days taking down the leaking copper North Tower Ridge Cap (circled in the photo above) for its journey to the company’s Florida workshop. There, a coppersmith will use it as a model to build an all-new cap, which will be allowed to patina naturally over time as opposed to trying to match it by modern methods. The new copper cap will look like it did when the house was first built in the late 1890s - a reddish-brown color.

This 7-month project shows our commitment to our continuing mission of preserving the house and estate. Check back periodically for continued updates on its progress.

April 2015

The crew arrived at Biltmore and spent several days disassembling the Ridge Cap and preparing it for its journey to Florida.

The crew arrived at Biltmore and spent several days disassembling the Ridge Cap and preparing for its journey to Florida. It's almost as tall as them!

Comparison of a newer piece of copper against the original copper that has patinaed over the years. After the North Tower Ridge Cap restoration project is finished, the piece will look like it did when the House was first built.

Here, we can see the comparison of a newer piece of copper against the original copper that has patinaed over the years. After the North Tower Ridge Cap restoration project is finished, the piece will look like it did when the house was first built.

May 2015

About 900 individual pieces arrived in Florida, where they were inventoried and analyzed. Three different weights of copper have been discovered so far -- 18, 20, and 24 ounce -- as well as a leaf from one of the vertical panels that still has some of the original gold intact!

About 900 individual pieces arrived in Florida, where they were inventoried and analyzed. Three different weights of copper have been discovered so far -- 18, 20, and 24 ounce -- as well as a leaf from one of the vertical panels that still has some of the original gold intact!

June 2015

Meanwhile, work continues at Biltmore House on other areas of the Ridge Cap.

Meanwhile, work continues at Biltmore House on other areas of the Ridge Cap.

Temporary Ridge Cap

A temporary cap has been placed to prevent further damage while the replacement is built in Florida. 

August 2015

The crew at Huber & Associates is working on creating casts for stamping, and pouring and forming new molds.

A close look at some of the copper components and accessories that make up the detailed parts of the ridge.

October 2015

Biltmore employees gathered as the new Ridge Cap parts were delivered. Biltmore House Guest Assistant Manager, Bryan Yerman, snapped this comparison photo -- just look at that shiny new copper!

November 2015

The new Ridge Cap is back in Asheville and being set in place. Take a look at the upper right of this photo and you'll see the crew hard at work during our Annual Tree Raising event. That must have been quite a sight from over 150 feet in the air!

The project was completed in late November! We are grateful to our amazing employees and the Huber & Associates crew for all of their hard work and are thrilled with the finished product. 

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Posted on 05/29/2015 By sbell

Some details are still yet to be determined but our goal is to keep the ridge cap as authentic as possible.

Posted on 05/19/2015 By James M

Will the replacement cap have gold leaf highlites, like it once had?

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