Award of Merit: Historic Category
Pennsylvania State Capitol Steps Restoration
Submitted by C.A. Lindman, Inc.
PA Capitol Preservation Committee
C. A. Lindman, Inc.
Pennsy Supply, Inc.
This emergency repair project was undertaken to stabilize and correct deteriorated bearing structures under the exterior stone stairway at the main entrance of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building. The building section to be disassembled and reconstructed is over 100 years old and on the National Historic Register, dictating great care and gentle handling of all building pieces. However, disruption to the ongoing business of the state government, caused by the disassembly of the stairs and the possibility of imminent collapse of portions of the stairway then in public use, required urgency and immediate action.
The project involved heavy disassembly and demolition to remove large granite steps and demolish existing stone bearing stringers, concrete repair and construction to tie new concrete bearing structures into the existing foundation and construct the new concrete structural bearings, and intricate engineering to reinstall all the granite steps. The project was technically complicated by the stone steps having rough hewn bottom surfaces, requiring individual bearing stacks custom fit for all four corners of each step. It was also complicated politically by well-meaning government agencies hopeful of finding work for the local homeless population and by state legislators influenced by organized labor groups who resented open-shop contractors performing the repairs.
Ultimately, the project was successfully performed within schedule and for substantially below the project budget.