The use of stucco as an exterior plaster cladding dates back thousands of years but it wasn’t until the late 19th century when it became a popular construction material in the United States. Driven by advancements in Portland cement and the public obsession with Mediterranean architectural styles already prevalent in California, the Southwest and Florida, stucco gained a foothold across the United States, as well as Canada. The result was a boom in individual and multi-family housing, hotels, hospitals, retail centers, government and private sector offices, railroad stations and other structures constructed with stucco. Today, however, we’re challenged with finding the most effective and efficient ways to preserve our national stucco treasures before it’s too late.
Look no further than the award programs across the country or review the list of National Historic Landmarks to gain a full appreciation for the growing desire to preserve stucco structures. The incentives for owners, architects, specifiers, contractors, distributors and others vested parties may vary from tax incentives and LEED credits to patriotism and community goodwill but they share a common goal—retain or reclaim the interior and exterior beauty afforded a structure adorned with stucco. The approach and process to preservation has evolved over time, but in recent years it’s become critically grounded in the use of pre-blended stucco materials.