Amtrak Station

Historic Station Receives New Roof

by Maria McDonagh-Forde, CertainTeed Corporation


From Western Roofing Mar/Apr ’13


Built in 1937 as a depot for the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe railroad line, the 75-year-old Flagstaff Visitor Center and Amtrak Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a beloved attraction of downtown Flagstaff, Ariz. It still draws several train travelers and tourists to its historically significant address of 1 East U.S. Route 66 on a daily basis.

With the historic building’s popular spot in the public eye’s line of view, the City of Flagstaff has worked diligently over the years to maintain its classic visual appeal. Continuing this tradition, city leaders a few years ago began considering a new roof for the facility. “We had painted the building the color it was originally back in the 1930s and 40s and decided to redo the roof,” says Sergio Enriquez, facilities maintenance superintendent for the City of Flagstaff. “The roof had standard three-tab shingles for at least 20 years, and they were starting to fail, so we decided to replace them with a green- and brown-tinted architectural shingle that would better complement the building.”

The city hired Flagstaff roofing contractor Traditional Roofing, Inc., and began looking at shingle options recommended by the contractor. Having specified CertainTeed roofing products for previous municipal shingled roof projects with good results, the city chose the manufacturer’s Landmark(TM) Premium designer shingles in Weathered Wood.

Traditional Roofing began work in June 2011, with a crew that ranged from ten to fifteen. The job presented challenges right from the start, mainly due to the need for the visitor center and train station to remain open during the project. “The roof was really steep, with a 12/12 pitch, and it was logistically challenging because we were sandwiched between Route 66 and the railroad track, which only allowed us about 10’ of space to get equipment and supplies in and trash out,” says Matt Behmer, owner of Traditional Roofing. “We had about 20’ between the railroad tracks and the building, and we had to maintain a 10’ buffer. And, we had to keep people below safe from falling debris, so we had someone down on the ground directing pedestrian traffic. Safety always comes first.”

Once everything was in place, the job ran smoothly. In addition to the shingles, the roof also featured CertainTeed underlayment and roof accessories. The crew removed the old shingles and installed three courses of WinterGuard(TM) ice and water shield on the roof eaves as protection from the region’s consistently heavy snows. Next, the crew installed SwiftStart(TM) starter shingles, 100 squares of Landmark Premium, and Shadow Ridge(TM) ridge cap. Traditional Roofing also custom fabricated 24 gauge pre-finished drip edge and step flashing, Patina Green. In all, the job took four days.

Behmer was pleased with how well the job went and how the new roof gave the historic building a more visually appealing, renewed appearance. “The new roof looks great, and it really helped clean up the appearance of one of the centerpieces of downtown Flagstaff,” Behmer says. “The old roof had gotten pretty bad. CertainTeed makes good shingles in a nice selection of colors, with solid warranties, and my crew likes working with them.”

The City of Flagstaff also was pleased with the work of its roofing contractor, as well as the look and performance of the new shingles. “Traditional Roofing has done several roofs for the city, and they’ve always done a great job,” Enriquez says. “This job turned out especially well. Between the new roof and the recent paint job, it looks like a much newer building. And, more importantly, the site managers really like the new roof over the previous one; it keeps the water out and continues to make the building look historical.”