The Steger and Gibbons buildings are located in the heart of the Loop and were both designed by the renowned architectural firm of Marshall and Fox. The19-story Steger building was constructed in 1910 and the 13-story Gibbons building was constructed in 1912. The Pickwick Stables is located between the two structures and was known as one of the few structures in the City to survive the Chicago fire. Campus Acquisitions acquired the buildings and decided to repurpose these historic buildings into apartments and dormitories for the local universities. Walker was retained by the lead architectural firm to head up the restoration of the historic façades. Walker performed a comprehensive close-up examination of the façades of both buildings and developed a detailed scope of repairs based on a five-year repair and maintenance program. The repairs included repair of the brick and terra cotta façade, replacement of severely damaged or missing terra cotta and masonry units and waterproofing. Walker also performed the construction observations and provided input and direction on unforeseen conditions uncovered during the façade restoration.
Galveston, Texas is the home to a large number of cast iron façades which were constructed in the early 1900’s. When Hurricane Ike impacted Galveston in 2008 with winds over 100 mph and tidal surge totaling over five feet, the preservation of these important historic façades became a concern. Walker was retained under grant funding to assess numerous historic cast iron façades, develop repair approaches and an opinion of probable cost for recommended repairs, and provide construction observations during the repair work to extend the life of these important historical elements.
The 14 E. Jackson building was designed by Marshall & Fox and constructed in 1913 as the 19-story Lytton Building. In 2008 DePaul University purchased the building for classrooms and offices. Walker Restoration Consultants performed façade assessments identifying necessary repairs and maintenance, designed repairs for the terra cotta and masonry, replacement of select windows, and provided construction repair oversight of the façade repairs and maintenance. Walker also designed a replica GFRC cornice to replace the original terra cotta cornice that had been removed by previous ownership.
Built in 1913, the Littlefield Building is on the National Historical Register and is a prominent building in downtown Austin. The building is a 9-story steel framed structure with masonry and terra cotta façades, and wood and steel window systems. Walker Restoration Consultants performed an assessment of the exterior façade and window systems and developed restoration/preservation repair approaches to address repair and maintenance issues including masonry repairs, rebuilding of the terra cotta balustrades, and restoration of the original wood and steel windows. All of the repairs were designed with consideration for the historic value of the building and in keeping with the recommendations of the Historical Preservation Standards.
The five story cast-in-place University of Houston Hilton Tower Hotel with 2 story conference center was built in 1969. The center serves as the primary teaching facility for the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The tower is made up of exposed concrete structural and architectural elements including columns, shear walls, floor slabs and beams. The east and west elevation window walls are set back from the exterior leaving the floor slabs, beams, and columns exposed to the exterior. The University discovered a problem with concrete deterioration including isolated cracks at the ends of spandrel beams. Walker Restoration was retained to perform condition assessment of the façade and develop repair documents to correct identified deficiencies. Walker also consulted on new window wall head section design to address anticipated vertical deflections.
The Moody Towers Complex and pedestrian bridges constructed in 1967 serve as residence halls on the campus. The concrete façades were exhibiting extensive concrete deterioration resulting in fragments disengaging. Walker performed an assessment of the façade identifying the cause of concrete deterioration, as well as the overall deterioration of the building sealants. Walker’s repair design incorporated the University’s project goals to eliminate the balcony access at the 17th and 18th floors, improve the appearance of the façades, maintain ingress and egress during construction, and perform construction in phases to minimize impact on the building use during the school year.
Designed by John Burgee Architects and Philip Johnson, the College of Architecture Building was constructed in 1986. Walker Restoration Consultants was retained to perform an investigation of the failure of a large section of soffit masonry and perform an assessment of the exterior façade. Walker identified the failure mechanism for the masonry soffit and developed a repair solution for all similar masonry soffit features on the building. Walker also identified numerous other deficiencies in the façade that were contributing to premature deterioration of the building envelope materials. Due to the prominence of the building, there was extensive thought and consideration in the repair design to maintain the original aesthetics of the building. Walker located the original masonry supplier and specified use of the same masonry materials as the original construction to maintain the aesthetics intended by the original design architects. Based on the findings during the assessment, Walker also developed enhancements to the original design detailing to reinstate the water resistant details of the veneer wall and extend the life of the structure.
The Buhl Building is a 27 story structure built in 1925 and clad in terra cotta. The terra cotta façade was experiencing widespread deterioration and failures of the terra cotta units causing hazards from fragments of the terra cotta disengaging from the façade. Walker was retained to perform an assessment of the façade and develop repairs to address deficiencies to mitigate the façade cladding failures. The assessment revealed the deterioration of the masonry support hardware and anchors. Walker designed a prioritized multi-year repair program to address the deficiencies identified.
Built in 1918, the granite and limestone clad bell tower was experiencing accelerated deterioration of the masonry due to age and weather exposure. Fragments of the limestone and granite were disengaging from the façade creating a fall hazard around the building. Walker performed an assessment of the façade to assist the City of Quebec in developing stabilization and prioritized repair program. Additionally, a structural upgrade program was developed to bring he structure up to current code.
Constructed in 1929, the Guardian Building consists of a 32 story tower flanked by 34 and 44 story towers. The façade had experienced significant corrosion of its frame components and lintels resulting in numerous failures of the header and sill terra cotta units at various locations throughout the building. Walker was retained to assess the current conditions and develop a phased restoration program. Walker worked with the Owner’s in-house engineering group on a five-year, $1,000,000 restoration program including repair design and construction observations services.