A cupola is a small structure on top of a building whose purpose is to bring light or ventilation into the space below. They can also be incorporated into a building for the sole purpose of architectural embellishment, as in the case of the restored cupola covered in this article.
Like any building component located on the outside, cupolas are subject to the various elements of weather. And being located on the top of a roof they receive an even greater dose of sun, rain and wind. Without the proper construction methods and regular maintenance, these decorative gems can quickly fall into disrepair.
The rescued cupola in the photo essay has a story that made restoration a no-brainer. The weather-vane on top was a gift from the homeowner's father. The original cupola had been constructed to house the instrument in honor to the giver. Unfortunately, the builder used the wrong materials and the wrong building technique which led to it's quick demise. The only things salvageable were the original design and rusted weather-vane.