In yet another 2020 change to “business as normal,” the Baltimore Building Congress & Exchange (BCEX) has limited its annual Craftsmanship Awards to only 15, far fewer than in years before. Unlike other awards that honor the General Contractor/Construction Manager, Design Team or Trade Contractor Firm, the BCEX awards honor the actual Craftsmen who work on-site.
This year, Lewis Contractors is pleased to announce that two of its most outstanding projects – Church of the Resurrection in Lutherville and the James Brice House in Annapolis – have received four of the 15 awards, more than ¼ of the total number offered this year.
Trade contractor leaders from Jennings Mitchell, Pearce Masonry and Lancaster County Timber Frames have been honored for their exceptional framing/drywall at the sanctuary, exterior brick/stone masonry and heavy timber trusses for Church of the Resurrection. The metal stud framing for the soaring Gothic arches, enormous arched windows and column surrounds for the nearly 40’ tall sanctuary was virtually sculptural in its execution – almost too well executed to be hidden by the drywall with its Level 5, near plaster like, finish. The exposed heavy timber trusses that support the roof and frame the ceiling of the transept area, were delivered in pre-finished pieces to the jobsite, assembled on site using traditional wood peg joinery and hoisted by crane to rise to nearly 42’ above the finished sanctuary floor. Handmade style brick masonry in a custom colonial palette blend was installed in the challenging Flemish bond pattern and rises above the pre-cast stone water table that sits atop a base of hand-finished fieldstone quarried in Baltimore County. The masonry walls and custom fabricated large arched windows serve to make the building appear to have been constructed decades ago, evoking memories of an earlier era as it created the outstanding structure at the rise of the hill on Greenspring Avenue.
Once completed, Lewis Contractors’ James Brice House project in Annapolis will completely restore the second most well documented 18th century residential construction project in the country; exceeded only by the documentation of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. What sets apart the roof structure framing repairs for the historic house near Market Place in Annapolis is the fact that every single usable piece of historic wood was incorporated into the hand hewn, adz-finished trusses used to reframe the main building roof as it was returned to its original configuration. This phase of the project followed removal of the decades-old “contemporary” dormers installed during a previous early 20th century renovation. The James Brice House restoration, which is being completed over multiple years in many phases, by far exceeds standard restoration processes to meet world class standards by using true 18th century building techniques.
Lewis Contractors is honored to have been chosen as the Construction Manager for both projects and extends its sincere and well-deserved congratulations to these outstanding craftsmen.