The Century Inn, formerly known as Hill’s Tavern, was constructed between 1788 and 1794 and is the oldest continuously operating inn on the National Road. Tragically, the building was heavily damaged by fire in 2015. Recipient of the 2018 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Construction Award, the 2018 AIA Pittsburgh Honor Award for Architecture, the 2018 AIA Pittsburgh People’s Choice Award, and the 2018 AIA Pennsylvania Bronze Award for Architectural Excellence, we restored the historic features of the remains of this 15,000 square foot building while also updating systems and integrating additional guest amenities. Together with the contractor, Waller Corporation of Washington, PA, the primary goal was an accurate restoration that qualified for the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program and maintained the inn’s distinction on the National Register of Historic Places.
Using the National Park Service’s Preservation Briefs, the design team worked to preserve and restore materials that survived the fire. The original stone walls were assessed for structural integrity and cleaned with minimally invasive chemicals to preserve original features such as the masons’ chisel marks. In addition, the hand-hewn heavy timbers which were damaged by smoke, but not destroyed by the fire, were gently cleaned and sealed. Materials requiring replacement, such as the bar and staircase, were carefully removed and replicated off site. Portions of the building’s original trim were salvaged and reproduced using custom knives or carefully selected from catalogs to match the original profiles.
View the before and after transformation in the video below.