Worlds Collide

Before my 2021 trip begins (and even during it), I have a day job as editor-in-chief of Metal Center News magazine. You’re forgiven for never having heard of it; you won’t find it on your local newsstand. MCN, as we shorten it without creativity, is a trade publication devoted to metal service centers.

Again, you’re excused for not knowing what a metal service center is. A metal service center is a distribution company that buys metal, such as steel, aluminum and copper, from the companies that make the metal (known as mills, including companies such as U.S. Steel, which you probably have heard of) and distribute it to smaller customers. They’re something like a wholesaler, though they often perform some work on the metal before shipping it to end users.

This, of course, is at least 32 more words than just about any reader cares to know about the metal distribution industry, so I’ll stop explaining the business and start explaining why I’m writing about it here. Well, for the first time since I started this project, my day job and my venture are coming into contact.

This week, I received a news release from my good friends at Petersen Aluminum Co., a distributor and manufacturer of aluminum products for the metal construction industry. Petersen was calling attention to the most recent project where its metal roofing products were used: St. Patrick’s Church in Galveston, Texas.

As you might know, sitting in Galveston leaves St. Patrick’s vulnerable to the storms that rise up from the Gulf of Mexico. The first church building was lost in 1871, just one year after construction, then its rebuilt church lost a spire in the Great Hurricane of 1900.

In 1905, the church heeded the call of the city of Galveston that every building should be raised to prevent future flood damage, and the five inches it was boosted almost certainly saved it during the devastation of Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Thus, when it was time to replace its roof, the church opted for the metal roofing panels used by Petersen, on display below.

I don’t know when, or if, my two worlds will collide again, so I thought I’d take advantage of this chance to share it here. Best of luck with your new roof, St. Pat’s.

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