Honoring Howard Bailey

For nearly 22 years, Historical Arts & Casting’s customers have benefitted from the expertise that Howard Bailey has contributed to their projects. Howard left his mark at the foundry mold/pour stage of our process. Day by day, along with the other staff in our foundry, Howard made the sand molds into which the molten bronze, aluminum, and iron flowed to make the castings which become HACI’s products. We are all grateful for the part that Howard played to make HACI’s metalwork what it is. 

While we don’t know what the next few years will hold for Howard as he leaves HACI to begin a new phase of his life, we all wish him the very best. Thank you, Howard.

Howard Bailey stands in the foundry.

Getting Up To Speed With Aluminum

Richard Baird, the president of Historical Arts & Casting, has always been good with his hands. The son of an architect, he spent most of his summers from an early age helping his father with restoration surveys of old cast iron buildings. At fifteen years old, he purchased a badly mistreated 1963 Volkswagen Beetle and began to rebuild it. Less than a year later, it was drivable.

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Old Becomes New

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One of the driving forces in the preservation of historic buildings around the country is, ironically enough, a cutting-edge trend built on high-tech entrepreneurship. It is led by the Millennials, who see the benefit of tapping into restored structures while creating their urban hubs of innovation. News accounts tell how the renewed sense of community is revitalizing towns such as Durham, North Carolina, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and San Diego, California. In these cities, you can see turn-of-the-century buildings anchoring historic districts filled with apartments, restaurants, and businesses.

Historical Arts and Casting, Inc. has seen this first-hand. We played a role in the restoration of Chicago’s Sullivan Center, adding authentic touches such as the painted cast bronze grilles we replicated using historic pictures. Even retired HACI cofounder Robert Baird is helping restore the old Odd Fellows Club in downtown Brooklin, Maine, which, according to an article last fall in The Weekly Packet, will house two apartments and commercial space related to boats and boat-building.

Consider this:

  • Restoration is the ultimate in recycling, although something built in the 1800′s probably isn’t considered “green” by today’s standards. Instead of trashing what are probably far better building materials than you can get today, such as true hardwood floors, you can save some money on materials. Chances are, if the building was built before WWII, it will stand longer than any you would build to replace it. And, you never know what’s hidden in an old building. You may find gorgeous pressed tin ceilings underneath suspended tiles, or a bas-relief buried behind 1970′s-era paneling.
  • Restoration is economically sound. According to Curbed, American Underground (a subterranean hub underneath a turn-of-the-century building) brought more than $50 million in venture funding by 2017, along with 1,100 jobs and $1.4 million in spending it has driven toward area businesses. For Durham, this is a quintessential success story.
  • Renovation hits close to home. Salt Lake City was ranked the third-best market for commercial development in the Urban Land Institute’s 2018 Emerging Trends report. You can see this in the Central 9th District, where old warehouses are being converted to office spaces for tech firms. In 1973, architect Steven T. Baird and sons David, Richard, and Robert restored the ZCMI Department Store façade, one of the first cast-iron preservation projects of its kind. Later, in 2007, Historical Arts and Casting, Inc. restored the storefront again, and it now welcomes shoppers as a contemporary Macy’s.

While it might have taken others a few decades to catch on to the value of making the old new again, Historical Arts and Casting, Inc. will continue to play a major role in the preservation of historic metal-cast architecture in years to come. It’s our legacy and we’re proud of it.

Top Secret

Privacy is important, anyone can tell you that. At Historical Arts & Casting, Inc., we understand the need for privacy. We endeavor to only release information to the public in ways that are consistent with our clients’ discerning privacy expectations.

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A Year to Remember

Looking back at 2017, we could list our favorite jobs, the big-hitters, the unusual, the ones that make people remember our names.

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Honoring Robert Baird

It is with mixed emotions that we at Historical Arts and Casting, Inc. are announcing the retirement of Robert Baird—one of the three brothers who founded HACI more than three decades ago.

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Together with his brothers, Richard and David, Robert has worked tirelessly to build Historical Arts & Casting, Inc. into what it is today, the recognized leader in the field of cast architectural metal ornament. He and his brothers did this by identifying a need for the kinds of products that we now make.

Then, they brought that dream to light by gathering the people, the facilities and the equipment needed to make it all possible. Robert infused everything he did with his own unique mix of unbridled enthusiasm and charismatic leadership. His influence can be found everywhere you look here at HACI.

That influence will endure. It will endure because many of us at Historical Arts were hired by Robert—and were subsequently guided by Robert. Our company values were shaped in part by his values. Many of the ongoing relationships that HACI enjoys with architects, contractors, and associations are the fruit of these efforts.

The best way that we can think of to celebrate Robert’s impact is to continue his vision—to put our heads down and to carry on with the work—always with that joyful, dedicated optimism that comes with being sure of your skills, a desire to do the right thing, and the knowledge that what is being built is a legacy that will outlast each of us.

Thank you, Robert. Our best wishes to you and your family as you carry on in the next part of your journey.

“Fair Winds and Following Seas.”