How Shrink Wrap Aids Historical Preservation

The more time goes by, the more it starts to seem as if there literally is nothing that can’t be protected with shrink wrap. But again and again, we find examples that surprise us and give us a newfound appreciation for the versatility and utility of shrink wrap. This post is dedicated to a special class of such cases—those where objects of historical significance are wrapped for preservation.

What typically leads to these jobs is a situation that follows a particular pattern that fulfills three conditions. First, there is some structure of significant historical value. Second, it’s fallen into disrepair and needs to be restored or moved. Third, there’s some reason, usually a combination of size, terrain, and funding, as to why it can’t be moved at the moment.

In such an event, the entity that wants to preserve this object can get it shrink wrapped for the time being to protect it against any further damage while they bide their time and plan the next step in saving the object.

Here is a small collection of just a few such stories, demonstrating the important role that shrink wrap now plays in the preservation of history.

Shrink Wrapping the Pulaski Train Station

This historical train station in Pulaski, Virginia experienced a fire and was set to be partially demolished and rebuilt, but particular parts of the site were meant to be preserved in the new structure due to their historical significance. To protect these important parts from work-related debris as well as from snow, rain, and heavy winds during the months-long project, the contracting company ruled out tarps as inadequate and decided to go for shrink wrap.

This was a particularly tough task due to the weather at the site and the damaged condition of the jagged structures being wrapped. Nevertheless, the service provider’s crew of three finished the job. They first erected a roof trust system to hold up the plastic, then wrapped the chimney followed by the main body of the building, creating a shrink wrap that could stand against wind and snow.

Shrink Wrapping the GG1 #4859 Locomotive

This over 79-foot-long locomotive was the first electric locomotive to pull a passenger train to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was housed in the Harrisburg Transportation Center by the National Railway Historical Society. Eventually, renovations required that the locomotive be moved out and stored outside for a few years, during which time the historical society wanted to preserve its condition. They contacted a shrink wrapping company to give it a protective wrapping.

The crew of five all had to be trained, trained and qualified for rail access, had to create a custom shrink bag for the train, and were able to give it the protection against sun and rust that it needed to withstand prolonged outdoor storage without surface damage.

Shrink Wrapping the USS Constellation

The USS Constellation was the U.S. Navy’s last all-sail ship. On the 160th year since its launch, decades after it had been used as a training ship during WWI, decommissioned, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was due for major hull renovations. To perform these renovations, the restoration crew needed a temporary protective structure that would enclose the entire hull as well as control the temperature of the work area and the underside of the ship.

The crew hired for the job had worked on large ships many a time before, and came in with a plan. They erected scaffolding for both the shrink wrap and the hull repairs, then installed the shrink wrap in seven pieces which they blended together and then framed doors into. This allowed the crew to work comfortably and safely without risking harm to the ship.

These are just a small number of the many outstanding success stories out there where shrink wrapping delivers the protection needed even for objects as cumbersome and needing as much care as historical structures. And if you’re considering shrink wrapping for some large structure or object in the Midwest, then Unlimited Shrinkwrap are the experts you need. Simply give us a call at (815) 759-8944 or contact us with your info and questions.

Just think—if shrink wrap works for projects as complex as these, then what do you have to worry about?