The fires had inflicted noticeable damage on different materials on the building facade, including stone and cast iron.
The cast iron at the window frames was particularly affected by the heat. In this case the gap was filled with a polyurethane caulk as waterproofing, rather than removing historic fabric.
Cast iron window grills were also severely affected by the heat. During this later restoration, many of the sections had to be removed and replaced with matching material.
The granite column faces had also experienced damage, and the first iteration of repairs after the riots was a quick-fix solution, involving Bondo (a product used in the auto body industry) and latex paint.
These repairs had failed in many locations over the previous 20 years, and the coating faded in the constant exposure to UV from the sun.
Our solution involved the fabrication and installation of new granite 'Dutchman' repairs. This called for the fabrication and installation of new granite segments in the areas where old repairs were previously located.
Since the new granite would be installed in strips approximately 6" wide, the old original material was carefully cut to a depth of approx. 1 inch to receive the new stone.
Several locations required a complex pattern to ensure coverage of all previous damage and repairs.
For the curved column faces, we ordered material that was fabricated at the quarry with a curved surface for installation.
The less numerous flat pilasters were repaired using material cut from flat slab stock. The material was ordered from the same quarry as the original stone, but it was from a lower area in the quarry and the color had shifted slightly, resulting in obvious evidence of later repairs.
Terra cotta components of the facade were also in decay, not only due to the fire, but also due to typical problems related to moisture penetration. Here, the cornice overhang has been fitted with a steel restraining system to keep it from sagging and eventually falling. Since this system was installed at least 20 years ago and appeared to be working, we elected to leave it and use it as a support frame for new sheet metal covering.
Numerous corbels below the cornice had cracked and could be partially removed by hand with little effort. The restraint framing probably prevented more material from falling off the facade.
Here the system can be seen doing its assigned task. The area at the end has been completely reassembled with new stainless steel anchors and epoxy adhesive, and is just awaiting the application of the final glaze coating to match.
Below the cornice was a lovely poly-chromed terra cotta frieze, which had fortunately not sustained the same damage as the other areas.
One terra cotta component, however, had decayed so severely that it was near the point of collapse.
This terra cotta 'box' encased the top level of the fire escape platform on that side of the building. Its damage was due to moisture intrusion, which caused the internal steel support to expand and crack the encasing terra cotta veneer.
This crack running along the bottom front edge was a clear indicator that internal iron jacking was taking place, and also that the platform posed a possible hazard to the sidewalk below.
Very little effort was required, other than a large screwdriver, to remove the pieces that were in imminent danger of falling.
New threaded stainless steel rod set in epoxy adhesive was placed along the axis of damage.
Careful reassembly of the original fragments called for the use of stainless steel pins and epoxy adhesive. The original steel framework was treated to remove rust and coated with a galvanic rust-resistant coating.
New color-matched coatings at the glaze repair area.
The terra cotta frieze at the top had never been cleaned, and the carbon from the '92 fires was thickly deposited on the bas-relief glazed surface.
A simple cleaning with a mild acid-based cleaner and a pressure washer was all that was needed to get the surface colors back to their original vibrancy.