JOSEPH SMITH MEMORIAL BUILDING TERRACOTTA REPAIR
Project Confirmation Number: 2463
Entry Category Historic Restoration:
Restoration implies returning a building to its original condition. Must be listed as historic or eligible for such status.
15 E S Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84150
Brief description of the project:
The Joseph Smith Memorial Building, formerly the Hotel Utah, has been a major Salt Lake City landmark since its construction began in 1909. The building’s glazed brick and terracotta exterior was carefully and extensive analyzed, since over the years, the original terracotta exterior has been damaged due to weather and the natural settling of the building. Each of the damaged terracotta units were replaced and an ongoing permanent exterior building maintenance system developed.
Size of Building:
500,000 square feet
Amount of Masonry Used (include all types and number of units):
1,300 glazed terra cotta units
1,000 glazed brick units,
100% mortar repoint
Project completion date: November 2016
Explain the project and its unique use of masonry materials and techniques:
Working on an historic masonry building presents a difficult challenge in marrying the new with the old, and especially in working within the existing units to make the replacements and repairs blend in. The best compliment a historic restoration like this can have is when someone walks up to the finished building and says “What did you do? I can’t tell.”
Aside from the appearance of the finished exterior, other challenges included surgical removal of damaged units (without causing new damage to surrounding units,) dealing with two different phases of historic building construction that were carried out using different methods, and strategizing how to attach replacements.
The 100% repointing with very thin joints required untold hours of difficult labor—grinding and chipping out the old mortar. The learning curve was steep and fast, but the team got up to speed quickly. The building construction method, from the original 1910 brick back-up construction to the 1973 addition with fully grouted cells required the team to adapt techniques accordingly.
Furthermore the installation of the terra cotta units required a custom fit at nearly every location, in order to properly support and securely attach the units.
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
SPEC MIX® a QUIKRETE COMPANY
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