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The Mainstay Inn

Case Type: 
Cape May, NJ

"Architecturally, no inn, anywhere, quite matches the Mainstay," says Paul Grimes of Conde Nast Traveler. Built in 1872 as a gentlemen's gambling club and hotel, the Mainstay Inn of Cape May, NJ, is recognized as an architectural jewel in a town filled with elegant summer homes and grand Victorian public buildings.

The Mainstay Inn became Cape May's first Bed and Breakfast in 1976 and offers guests a variety of accommodations, Victorian style antiques and outstanding views from its sweeping verandahs and rooftop cupola. Innkeepers Tom and Sue Carroll, who have been referred to as "arch-preservationists" by Travel and Leisure magazine, have faithfully restored the Mainstay Inn to its original Italianate splendor.

When the Carrolls began searching for a solution to the inn's failing original tin roof, they ran up against the prospect of substantial repair and replacement costs. Tom, who is also chairman of the New Jersey Historic Trust and very involved in Cape May's preservation efforts, wanted a solution in keeping with the historical integrity of the building.

"With labor costs included, replacing such a complex tin roof was going to run about $75,000-100,000, a prohibitive amount to say the least. We needed to find another alternative." Carroll notes. That alternative was a Roof Restoration System from Acrymax.

A year and a half after applying the Roof Restoration System, Carroll is more than just pleased with the weatherability and good looks of his Acrymax coating. "I cannot say enough about the performance and aesthetics of this product. It's like having an extra thick coat of quality paint on the tin roof," he says. "And it looks so much like the original, that unless you looked very closely, you would never even know it was coated at all."

Cape May, in fact, was an excellent proving ground for Acrymax roof systems. The corrosive salt air, frequent high winds and seasonal fluctuations in temperature from the high 90's down to single digits make for a tough environment where product performance is critical.

"In my opinion, Acrymax is ideal for anyone with a preservationist approach to protecting an old roof," Carroll concludes. "It certainly worked well for us."