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Private Conservatory Restoration

A severe weather event hit the New York City area prompting a panicked call the very same evening from a soon-to-be new customer. The client described a storm damage scene that seemed to dictate a total tear-down of this classic Lord & Burnham conservatory. Rough Brothers was on site the next day to perform its own full storm-damage assessment.

Before Restoration

The damage was extensive, however Rough Brothers was confident that the private conservatory could and should be restored rather than be demolished; and quite possibly never rebuilt. The project was challenging, but this aspect was easily superseded by our excitement to revisit some of Rough Brothers’ early roots: that being, period style “wood” conservatory restoration. The project would require quite a few wood replacement glazing bars, and they needed to be of a similar grade and species that would perform as well as the original 100 year old wood bars which were milled from old growth cypress.


Finding old growth cypress in today’s world is a bit of a challenge to say the least. With a little resourcefulness and a bit of luck, Rough Brothers was able to do a bit of horse trading with a past nursery customer that had a couple of old Rough Brothers’ greenhouses which were no longer being used. Originally built by Rough Brothers in the early part of the 20th century, these currently unused greenhouses incorporated old growth cypress glazing bars that remained in perfect shape with tight rings; dry, and true. The milled profile was a near exact match to the old L&B wood bar profile.

After Restoration

Rough Brothers’ current technology played a role as well. We did have to custom fabricate, with extremely tight tolerances, a number of components using both aluminum and steel to bring the conservatory all the way back to its original grandeur. The owners of this private estate conservatory were thrilled, the project came out beautifully. Just wish the charm of this old conservatory was open for public viewing!

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