The West Milford Heritage Committee has completed several projects at their museum building in the township. An earlier project Fox Architectural assisted on was the removal and replacement of the perimeter gothic windows with new energy-efficient and historically accurate replacements. Another major project is this ceiling renovation and repair.
The existing tin ceiling was deteriorating and loosening from the supports behind it. It is difficult to tell in the pictures, but there was also significant pitting and separation in the metal creating a worn and unattractive appearance. Additionally, the wood lath and plaster ceiling behind the tin was also deteriorating and falling off which made the damage to the tin ceiling even worse.
Several ideas were discussed, including the final decision to remove the entire tin ceiling and reconstruct part of it as a display in the middle of a newly framed and constructed ceiling. Being that this is a museum about the township, this was a fitting way to save and display the best remaining elements of the ceiling. The entire ceiling was carefully removed and the tiles were sorted according to their quality. The best tiles were reused in the final construction.
A new overall ceiling structure was attached to the existing heavy timber trusses and covered with a gypsum board ceiling for a smooth surface. In the center area of the two-story museum space, a soffit was framed and inside of it the best of the ceiling tiles and border elements were reinstalled to make the historical display. In addition all new lighting was installed to adequately light the museum, and to provide accent lighting for the new ceiling display.