Category: Historic Restoration
Location: Bethlehem PA
Size: 3,000 sq. ft.
Masonry Used:Historic Masonry restoration.
Submitted by: USA Architects

Project Description

Built in the 1860s as part of the Bethlehem Steel complex, the Stock House was in disrepair for many years after the steel furnaces went cold in the 1990s. In 2009, the City undertook an effort to restore it for use as a visitor center as part of the SteelStacks complex. The building was a rubble masonry structure with a steel sheet roof on metal trusses. The rubble masonry was in unsound condition, in need of significant repairs, including some structural ones. Many windows and doors had been infilled with concrete blocks, and the structural steel had packed rust. The windows that remained would later provide guidance, along with historical drawings, for replicating them for all the openings. The rubble masonry walls also had some portions missing which had to be reconstructed. The gradual painstaking restoration included structural repairs, reconstruction of some portions of the masonry, and complete re-pointing. The age and material of the construction demanded the use of compatible mortar using hydraulic lime, a natural material that has to be of a particular composition and balance plasticity with hardness and adhesive properties. The Repointing stone rubble masonry hydraulic lime has specific weather and time considerations as well. USA Architects designed the restoration of the Stock House after painstaking documentation of the building and customized specification of materials and recommendations for re-pointing methods. The restoration mason chosen for the job has extensive experience in projects such as the one on hand. The before-and-after photographs indicate the incredible success of this expert masonry restoration project. The success is on a technical level with high levels of experience and knowledge on the parts of the architect and the mason. On an execution level, the project exemplifies a high level of cooperation between the architect and mason.

Project Participants

Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority
10 East Church Street
Bethlehem, PA 18017
Tony Hanna, Director

Construction Manager
Boyle Construction Inc.
1209 Hausman Road, Suite B
Allentown, PA 18104
Ken Duerholz, Project Manager

Historical Architectural Consultant
Historic Architecture, LLC
227 Park Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081
Douglas Harnsberger, Senior Associate

Restoration Mason
Caretti, Inc.
4590 Industrial Park Road
PO Box 331
Camp Hill, PA 17001
Dave Moreland
PA Superintendent of Construction
717.737.6759 x110

Structural Engineer
MPP Engineers
79 Mill Pond Road
Jackson, NJ 08527
Del Paletchev, PE, Principal

MEP Consultant
Brinjac Engineering
7248 Tilghman Street, Suite 130
Allentown, PA 18104
Edward Boscola, PE, Project Manager

General Contractor
Lobar, Inc.
One Old Mill Road
PO Box 50
Dillsburg PA 17019
Steve Johnson, General Superintendent
717.432.9728 x4238