Historic Meux Home Restoration Work Begins
08/24/2010

Although the historic Meux Home in downtown Fresno looks as grand as ever from the street, in fact this renowned local landmark is in need of repair. On Tuesday, August 24, crews will begin work to repair the roof of the main house and rehabilitate many of its architectural features. The Queen Anne style residence of Dr. Thomas R. Meux, a Fresno physician, was constructed in 1889 and is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and Fresno’s Local Register of Historic Resources.

The decorative ridge crest, corbels and finials along the roof of the Meux Home have developed dry rot from exposure to the elements over the past 121 years. The City of Fresno working in tandem with Friends of the Meux Home and the Historic Preservation Commission, have developed a plan to restore these architectural elements.

The contractor for the project, Graham Prewett, will use a boom lift to reach the ridge of the steep roof. The decorative elements will be photographed and measured in place, prior to removal. Following documentation the finials and ridge crest will be stored on site and used as templates to construct new pieces as needed from a hardier wood, which can better withstand conditions in Fresno.

Historic Preservation Commission members Molly LM Smith and Christopher Johnson, both licensed architects, are working with City staff to oversee the process. In addition to removal and repair (or reproduction) of roof elements, several decorative corbels located along the cornice of the building will be repaired in place using a special epoxy. A thin metal plate will then cap off each corbel to prevent water damage in the future.

The City of Fresno PARCS department is underwriting basic repairs for the roof of the Meux Home and will also replace the roof on the detached Carriage House. The Friends of the Meux Home will donate the $15,000-$20,000 needed to reconstruct the architectural roof elements, which are a character defining feature of this Queen Anne style residence. Significant exterior carpentry and painting work remains. The Meux Home Board is also working with City staff on a potential capital campaign to fund future long-term repairs and maintenance.

For more information please contact Gary Biglione, City of Fresno Facilities department, at 621-1223 or Karana Hattersley-Drayton, Historic Preservation Project Manager, at 621-8520.

To learn more about this historic site, visit the Meux home website.