I write to commend the sculptural skill and innovation / public engagement capabilities of the Traditional Restoration Company (TRC). This firm is currently halfway through a programme of re- carving architectural sculpture within the Australian War Memorial’s Commemorative Area.
The Commemorative Area is a rare example of a shrine related to a purpose built museum and archive. The symbolic heart of the Memorial, the Commemorative Area embodies significant creative and technical heritage attributes. The site of daily Last Post Ceremonies, the Commemorative Area possesses a low tolerance for change or disturbance.
The sensitive manner in which TRC approached this job was apparent from the outset: they offered to erect plywood-covered scaffolding, muffling the noise of stone removal and replacement to lessen the project’s impact on the Memorial’s visitors. They covered the scaffold with a high quality graphic image of the wall on which they were working, effectively blending their worksite into the background, again with the effect of lessening the project’s impact on visitors.
Beyond the Commemorative Area, their approach to public engagement and education was also impressive. The stonemason’s banker erected on-site behind the Main Building became a focal point for visitors and staff keen to watch TRC’s stonemasons’ demonstrate their carving skills. With TRC staff cooperation, the Memorial took time-lapse images as the stonemasons recreated 25 of the 26 sculptures being replaced. Two of these time-lapse films have already been edited by Memorial staffand will shortly be up on our website (www.awm.gov.au). The Memorial will film the carving of the 26 th sculpture next year, during the second phase of this project, in tandem with interviewing the sculptor. The sculptor will also conduct a workshop for local heritage and conservation specialists on the art and craft of carving.
To better inform you of the impact and benefits of this project, I append several images of its progress.
If you require further information, please contact me at: Barbara Reeve, Manager, Heritage Preservation Projects, Australian War Memorial, GPO Box 345, Canberra, ACT, 2601, (T:+61 02-6243- 4277).
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
At a time when working for builders is a sure way to end up in the dole queue, working for Traditional Stone is a pleasure from pricing to completion.
We look forward to continuing our working relationship moving into 2014.
As always, if there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you in the new year!
Apologies for not being available for the celebration tonight.
On behalf of council I would just like to thank everyone for a great project (almost completed).
I have continuously had good reports from Councilors, staff and neighbours for the work you have done and the conduct of your staff and contractors in a difficult and very public working environment.
The conservation of the Sydney Town Hall Clock Tower is an important project for the City Council and the people of Sydney. The building was completed some 130 years ago as a Head Quarters for the City Council and is expected to remain so for a very long time to come.
Thanks go to our consultants and all the subcontractors and suppliers and the good planning and management from Traditional Stonemasonry. There are many parts of the project which will be remembered, particularly the carving of the capitals on the footpaths, the careful contractions of the roof deck and the difficult execution of the seismic bracing after nearly 25 years of contemplation by Council and the clock.
We are particularly grateful about your safety records and courteous manner in which your staff have treated the public that surround this very public building. I think you have a great team.
I believe the heritage branch of the Department of Planning is pleased with the project as well.
As requested, the following is a reference, following my many years’ experience in working with you and Traditional. I would be more than happy to receive any calls to further support you.
Stephenson & Turner, as a company who pride themselves in carrying out low‐intrusion heritage projects, seek out people who have expertise, experience and a passion for their specialist areas of work. Traditional fits this bill.
I first got to know Traditional Restoration when working on the Old AMP Building in Customhouse Quay in Wellington, where we were commissioned to refurbish the building’s facades, and repair corrosion to the supporting steel frame. We travelled to Sydney to seek out specific expertise in Hawkesbury River sandstone and, after reviewing a number of your high‐profile projects, were happy to select you to carry out the work.
Before being engaged in the project, you and your team were able to track down with forensic precision, the exact quarry where the stone was excavated and obtain stone from it despite it being ‘closed’. Once we had the Traditional team on board, you were able to work closely with us to carry out physical and laboratory testing on the stonework to identify its key issues and help us formulate a plan of careful repair of not only the stonework but also the faience tiling, which we discovered you were also experts in. Traditional were also able to identify and correct, the poor and incorrect work by previous refurbishment contractors, much of which was clearly contributing to the façade’s issues.
Your team of masons and leadworkers shared your infectious enthusiasm and joy for their craft and produced an outstanding result which, we are pleased to report, is standing the test of time. The care they took in their work is evident through a level of workmanship we rarely see in New Zealand.
Following the completion of the above project Traditional have continued their engagement on the project showing our client’s faith in their work.
We wish you well with your continued work in New Zealand and in particular, with the work in Christchurch you are looking to do, to help us rebuild the little heritage we have left. We know you will raise the bar not only in the way you approach each project but also in how you anticipate they will need to be cared for as they continue to age
Sent: Monday, 3 May 2021 4:56 PM
Subject: Thank you – Macleay Regis
It’s hard to believe our façade restoration project is almost over.
What started in Oct last year as a simple repair job to some damaged brickwork around the garages, expanded into a much more complex and extensive undertaking. So well done on managing it all so well.
Although there were some setbacks along the way, not least of which was an extensive rainy season, I’m very pleased with the finished project and would like to congratulate you and your team on a job well done.
On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank you personally for all your hard work throughout the project, including extensive overtime on the weekend of the storm. Our shop tenants too were very complimentary about your hands-on approach, friendly personality, and ‘can-do’ attitude. You were easy to work with – responsive, cooperative, professional and engaged throughout – and that was much appreciated. Thank you!
Thanks again and best wishes
I wish to personally thank everyone for the opportunity to supervise the restoration of Blackheath War Memorial from start to finish.
As this has been my first, I could not have been handed a more pleasurable and uncomplicated brief.
So on behalf of the people of the Blackdeath and the Blue Mountains.
I wish to thank you all for such a high standard standout example of the fine detailed craftsmanship.
all the best to all for Christmas and the New year.