Historical Architecture Conservation—Cast Stone Decorative Frieze
Art Deco façade restoration and cast stone repair
The Wolfsonian at Florida International University
The Washington Storage Company was built in 1927 intended for use by the winter residents for storage of furniture and the occasional automobile. The building is characterized by two tiers of decorative cast stone friezes and a matching, elaborately decorated portal surround. RLA was retained by Stobs Bros to perform treatment on the building. Because of deferred maintenance and poorly executed repairs carried out in 2010, the cast stone frieze was in such poor structural condition that scaffolding was required to prevent elements from falling onto passersby. Delamination, spalling, pervasive cracking, and detachment and loss of decorative elements were prevalent. RLA performed a sounding survey and visual inspection for
detachment and possible structural instability, marking off areas to be conserved. We performed all treatments required to stabilize and repair damage to the portal and frieze. This included cleaning and stain removal by poulticing, removal of crumbling, friable, and fragmented cast stone; replacement of corroded rebar, passivation and epoxy coating of rebar left in place. We then reassembled and pinned the detached elements, compensated for the losses. We applied a migrating corrosion inhibitor, water repellant and caulk of the edges.