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Project Details

One Church Street '09, '10,  '11

One Church Street '09, '10, '11

Burlington VT, 2010

One Church Street is the former Masonic Temple and is easily the largest masonry building on Church Street, if not the city of Burlington. It is home to a large legal firm, a U.S. Congressman's home office and several retail and other spaces. The condition of the building was generally good, however the masonry and wooden window frames and sashes suffered from years of neglect. The West and east gables over Church Street and the rear parking lot were literally falling onto the street below. The project spanned over two seasons, 2010-2011 and involved a wide range of restoration techniques including wood restoration and matching the vintage brick and stone masonry with exact vintage restoration materials and techniques so the repairs would become invisible.

The most critical phase of the project came in the summer of 2011 with the removal of the large coping stones over the east and west gables over 100' high. The task of removing the large Champlain Marble coping stones, which weighed 700 lbs. apiece, was particularly dangerous as the original iron fasteners had rusted and come loose, the brick below these were all loose and broken many courses deep and the pilasters at the base which these stones pitched steeply into and relied on for support were completely pulverized by water and ice. The whole area was so unstable that any disturbance could easily become an avalanche of tons of masonry falling onto the slate roof and to the street 100’below.

We originally proposed to stage these elevations however the client asked us to perform the work without staging if possible, as staging is a very large and obstructive element in any case and an eye sore they greatly wished to avoid. Working with a crane and a 125' man lift we devised a clamping system with chain fall gear from the crane hook and very carefully removed the stones from the top down, while managing the loose masonry below. Once the area was completely disassembled the brick masonry was rebuilt with matching brick units salvaged from other projects.  A new stainless steel fastening system was designed and installed and the coping stones were cleaned and reset. The lead flashing was replaced and new sealant installed. The entire gable areas were re-pointed (all mortar used was a replica of the original lime putty mortar used in the original construction) and the large wood window frame restored. All the windows in the building were re-glazed and restored, including the large storefront windows on Church Street, hundreds of spalled brick removed and replaced throughout the building, large areas of mortar joints removed and re-pointed with matching lime putty cement.

The result is a perfect match of materials and a lasting repair that returns the building to much of its former beauty and stability. [The building was not cleaned during this project] The project was completed with man lifts and crane to minimize the visual clutter and general disruption that comes with staging.  We worked closely with the Church Street Market Place staff to insure no disruptions in their summer events schedule and the owners, Paul, Frank and Collins are excited and pleased with the results.