ICRI 2001 Project Award Winner
Share |

Award of Excellence: Historic Category

Freedom Tower Restoration
grey line

Miami, Florida

Submitted by Structural Preservation Systems, Inc.


Freedom Tower

Owner
Freedom Tower Renovation Project
Miami, Florida

Project Engineer/Designer
Donnell, Duquesne & Albaisa, PA
Miami, Florida

Repair Contractor
Structural Preservation Systems, Inc.
Pompano Beach, Florida

Material Suppliers
CSR Rinker Materials
West Palm Beach, Florida

Sto Corporation
Atlanta, Georgia

The Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida, a 75 year-old architectural landmark and enduring symbol of resilience in the face of adversity, was built in 1925. The seventeen-story stucco office tower is a prime example of Spanish Renaissance revival style. Between 1962 and 1974, it became Miami's "Ellis Island," where 400,000 Cuban refugees fleeing the communist regime of Fidel Castro were processed.

In 1997, a Cuban-American businessman acquired the building, with plans for a complete renovation to commemorate the Cuban refugee experience. By then, the building's aesthetics and structural elements were severely degraded, and the building was, in fact, on its way to collapse.

Restoration work started in the parking garage where testing revealed that the original concrete mix was about half of what structural concrete's compressive strength should be. Practically every beam and column in the garage, and the entire garage slab needed repair.

Overhead, partial-depth slab repairs utilized form-and-pump placement. The soffit repair included adding approximately 1" of extra concrete to the original construction. To preserve the structural integrity of the slab, work was conducted in a phased "checkerboard" manner.

Columns were also repaired using a form-and-pump technique that turned out to be extraordinary. Because 100% of the column cross-section was removed, the work required extensive shoring of the upper floors and pinning of the whole shoring assembly to the columns above.

Beam repairs were also required throughout the structure, including concrete-encased I-beams on certain floors. Many beams required full-depth replacement, and some slabs were strengthened by a composite strengthening system to withstand additional load-bearing requirements.

Miami's freedom Tower is a striking symbol not only for architectural preservationists, but also for the multitude who trace their first taste of freedom to its halls. It is also confirmation of today's technology for the repair industry to successfully complete challenging restorations of this type.

Thank You, Supporting Members!

International Concrete Repair Institute

1000 Westgate Drive, Suite 252 | St. Paul, Minnesota 55114 USA | Phone: +1 651-366-6095

©2016 International Concrete Repair Institute, Inc.

Privacy Policy