Award of Excellence: High-Rise Category
Terminal Tower Façade Repairs
Submitted by Sika Corporation
Forest City Enterprises
Barber & Hoffman
Lyndhurst, New Jersey
This downtown Cleveland landmark was the tallest building in North America excluding New York City at the time of its completion in 1928. Decades of harsh climate exposure and water infiltration took their toll on the building’s decorative terra cotta and limestone façade. Steel flanges had rusted and expanded, causing pieces of terra cotta to loosen and fall and resulting in cornices that needed to be strapped into place.
An innovative design-build approach was developed to concurrently examine the building and develop bidding for repairs—starting at the cast-iron cupola on the 52nd floor and working floor by floor down through the multiple setbacks beginning at the 34th floor and finally down through the entire main shaft of the building. This had the advantage of avoiding delays and reducing cost, as well as separating the massive project into more than 40 manageable parts.
Another innovation was the extensive use of fiberglass replicas duplicated from terra cotta cornices and other shapes that needed to be replaced, as well as fiberglass-reinforced coating able to conform to the intricate detailing and waterproof salvageable terra cotta. The building could no longer support the weight of new terra cotta, and lightweight fiberglass replicas were produced at a fraction of the cost of their terra cotta counterparts. They were manufactured with embedded aluminum extensions that could be bolted to new steel and brought up by freight elevators, as opposed to cranes or other large structures for installation.