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Masonry Repair & Restoration

Key CSI Projects using Masonry Restoration

Strand Theatre Phase II - Historic Restoration

Owner:       City of Boston, MA

Location:   Dorchester, MA

Engineer/Architect:  Wilson Butler, Architect

The historic Strand Theatre, built in 1918 as a magnificent movie and vaudeville house has been undergoing extensive repairs on and off since the 1970's. Most recently in 2007, CSI was awarded the contract for phase one of the building's masonry restoration including re-pointing and soda blasting in various locations.

One of CSI's trained restoration crews successfully completed phase one on time and under budget. Phase two was then awarded to CSI which included restoring the terra cotta façade on Columbia road which includes the main entrance to the theatre.

The basic design was to remove the badly deteriorated and broken terra cotta and replicate the original detail with glass fiber reinforced panels. Although meticulous, CSI effectively removed then reassembled the existing terra cotta for the gfrp reproduction company however, the removal process uncovered a masonry substrate that was extremely uneven and needed waterproofing.

The challenge for everyone involved was to provide an anchoring system for the new architectural panels that would produce a finished surface that was plumb across the entire plane of the wall. The anchoring system needed to robust enough to hold the panels securely and provide the large adjustments needed to make up the differences in the uneven substrate. It also had to have the ability to be adjusted incrementally to attain the desired "fit" of the panels.

CSI proposed an anchoring system that allowed for both types of adjustment while the panels were being installed. Having the ability to adjust during the installation saved time and provided assurance that each panel was fitting together properly. The result was a newly restored, pristine and watertight façade that exactly replicates the original 1918 detail and will endure the harsh New England climate.

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