Category: Commercial
Location: Sugarcreek, OH
Size: 65,865 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: 269,825 bricks, 25,761 blocks, 286 clay coping tiles, 272,800 lbs precast, 10,717 soldiers, and 15,377 proj headers.
Submitted by: Lang Masonry Contractors Inc.

Project Description

The Age of Steam Roundhouse project, located in Sugarcreek, Ohio, presented a unique opportunity for Lang Masonry Contractors to showcase its skill working with brick.The 1.3 million dollar masonry project, privately funded and the result of one man's passion for steam locomotives, is the first full-size, working roundhouse built in the U.S. since 1951. The structures were all erected in the same architectural appearance as railroad buildings of the 1920-era, but with some modern-day modifications for safety, comfort and economy of construction and operation. The Roundhouse and Maintenance Shop will both be used to maintain the current and future rosters of steamers, as well as to teach future generations of steam locomotive repairmen these fast-disappearing job skills. The masonry scope consisted of 269,825 jumbo bricks, 10,717 rowlock/soldier bricks, 15,377 projected headers, 25,761 block and 286 clay coping tiles. A particular challenge was the precast lintels used over the window openings in the Roundhouse. Lang set 64000lbs of precast sills and water tables as well as 29 lintels weighing 7200lbs each. Lang worked with the structural engineer to re-design the piers to support the massive weight of the precast lintels and the Amish timber beams used for the roof framing. Instead of the typical detail of laying CMU with vertical rebar and grouting, rebar cages were constructed and then poured solid and installed using no CMU's, resulting in both time and cost savings to the owner. The design of the Roundhouse allowed Lang Masonry to lay brick both inside and outside the building at the same time, making for a dramatic impact on the site. Instead of using concrete blocks as the basis for the Roundhouse's walls and then facing the blocks with a veneer of red bricks, the walls were formed by separated red bricks that were filled with grout. Clay coping tiles were from an original mold that hadn't been ordered in fifty years. Specially cast and fired bull nose red bricks were manufactured for use along the edges of doorway and window openings. Arched window openings, eight courses of corbelled bricks and heavy pilasters at each side section add to the beauty of the building. The Flemish bond, used at every seventh course, was achieved by using specially fired brick with a score in the center and filled with mortar to appear as being two separate half bricks. The corbelling of bricks not only changes the wall thickness, but also adds some decorative flair to the walls, really showcasing the beauty of masonry.

The Age of Steam Roundhouse project brought together skilled craftsman and artisan with an attention to detail seldom seen in modern day construction. Lang Masonry Contractors is currently working on the Freight Depot and is looking forward to Phase 2 of construction, which will include an additional 8 stalls to the Roundhouse and a museum for the enlightenment and entertainment of future generations of Americans.

Project Participants

Owner: Age of Steam Roundhouse

  • Architect/Desinger: Ted Goodman, FA Goodman Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Jezerinac Geers & Associates
  • General Contractor: Robert Brode, WM Brode Company
  • Masonry Contractor: Melvin Schwendeman, Lang Masonry Contractors Inc.
  • Masonry Supplier: Brian Emler, Stocker Concrete
  • Masonry Supplier: Tom Van Fossen, Belden Brick
  • Masonry Supplier: Brewster Martin, Concrete Fabricators