A before-and-after duo are the highlight of this week’s Throwback Thursday, in which we celebrate the newly restored tower of the Montauk Manor, its coppery roof glinting in the sun.
Joseph Brensnan, Montauk resident and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, shot that digital image. The Manor’s Tower, he says, is one of its characteristic features. “The walls, windows, cornices and gutters have all been renewed, and the Copper Clad roof completely replaced with new copper, including a protective coating to maintain its handsome appearance and extend its service life.”
“Why does the tower never appear green in old postcards, if it was aged copper?” Bresnan answered that in 1927 when Carl Fisher was building the Manor, the old roofing on The Tower was probably natural copper. However, “when it aged and began to leak, [it] may have been patched and painted.” That answer makes sense when we look at this postcard from the Richard T. Gilmartin collection, published by the Manor in the 1940s, in which the Tower appears painted in a different color. “Copper does oxidize and “pin hole” after years of exposure,” Bresnan continued. In fact, “we suspect the original main roofing of The Manor was slate, which also can begin to leak after many years, and was replaced or covered by asphaltic shingles, as you see today.”
We can thank the residents of the Manor, aka “The Castle on the Hill,” for their commitment to this exterior maintenance and preservation program. This Tower, like the other one in the Circle, is part of the skyline of Montauk. The maintenance and preservation committee’s “substantial financial investment to preserve the historic Tudor Style exterior of the structure” gives all of us bragging rights on a job well done.
The Manor is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and New York State Register of Historic Properties.