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GTH group seeks technology scan of historic building

The latest group of George Taylor House volunteers gathered July 13 to work on an action plan for the future of the historic structure.

Recent improvements at the venue, located at Lehigh and Poplar streets, Catasauqua, include repairs to a leaking roof. The new roof is slate with copper flashing, which meets the standards used at the time. The volunteers invested in period antiques for the house, replacing some of the out-of-character furniture on loan from Lehigh County.

The group is aware the building needs restoration, and an important part of the process is knowing the existing conditions. To that end, Engineer Daniel Witczak, of Acela Engineering, offered to perform a below-cost assessment of the property. According to Witczak, he has invested in large-scale scanning technology that allows buildings to be detailed.

“The scan we put together will detail the entire building inside and out. We will be accurate to one millimeter,” he said.

Witczak wants to use the technology as a showcase for future development, particularly with historical buildings.

“With the accuracy, we can see where there is settling and get accurate measurements of all walls and floors,” he said.

In the past, windows were replaced with replicas of questionable value. Better measuring will define the openings. The GTH group will see what options are available. The existing windows have exposed underlying support structure and make the walls vulnerable to rotting.

The shutters are also a question. There is a custom shutter maker in Philadelphia that can replicate colonial shutters. There are shutters that were removed from the building, and they will be checked to see if they can be refurbished.

The summer kitchen will be included in the scan.

A plan for the front steps to the building has been circulating for years. Witczak will review the submission and verify it will be historically correct and fit the area where the original steps were attached.

The proposal will be submitted to Catasauqua Borough Council for approval, so the project can move forward.

Annette Pompa, with Taylor House Brewing Company, 76 Lehigh St., Catasauqua, attended the meeting. She is requesting the brewery and the volunteers get together for more events that celebrate the colonial period. Events under consideration include a brew and wine tasting, along with a potential colonial-style picnic and open-hearth cooking demonstrations.

Tours will be advertised, and they will be available on the first Saturday and third Sunday. The hours were designed to work around scheduled events. Saturday events are 2-6 p.m., and Sunday events are 1-4 p.m. Taylor House Brewing Company opens 2 p.m. on the weekends.

PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMIL Daniel Witczak addresses the George Taylor House group July 13 with an engineering plan to scan the historical structure.