Terra Cotta Roof Survey

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terra cotta roof in Alfred
44 North Main Street, Alfred, New York - Image Source

Collection Facts

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Historical Context

Terra cotta roofs in Alfred, NY were documented as part of a 1991 grant received from the J.M. Kaplan Fund. The project was coordinated by the Alfred Historical Society, the Baker’s Bridge Historical Association and the Friends of Terra Cotta organization. 

The shale rock and clay of the northeastern area of Alfred was extremely advantageous for the making of terra cotta ceramics, brick, and pottery.  The Celadon Terra Cotta Company was founded in 1889 and employed dozens of local men, producing roofing tiles that were very popular at the time. 

The Celadon company helped found the New York State School of Clay-working and Ceramics at Alfred University in 1900.

The Celadon company merged with the Ludowici Roofing Tile company in 1906.  A fire destroyed the Alfred plant in 1909, and all operations moved to Ohio, Ludowici's headquarters, where they continue to produce terra cotta roof tiles.


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