Evening Star Building (2007)
Built in 1898, the Evening Star Building on Pennsylvania Avenue was named after the Washington Evening Star. Many considered the daily publication the city's newspaper of record from 1852 to 1981. The Washington Post bought the building in 1981, and it is now a commercial office building. Sitting across from the Old Post Office and between the U.S. Capitol and the White House, the Evening Star Building contributes to the unique character of the Pennsylvania Avenue Historic District.
The building's white marble beaux-arts inspired classical revival architecture is the work of architects March & Peter. Limestone cladding was added in 1989 to the north and west facades. WEI cleaned the exterior marble with a warm-water mist and then consolidated the stone. The masons cut out and re-pointed open and deteriorated mortar joints. Repairs also included stone Dutchmen and extensive Jahn mortar sculpting of the decorative elements. Granite sidewalk pavers were matched and replaced.
As with any large city building, obtaining the right scaffolding and installing it properly was a concern. WEI hired a third-party inspector to ensure the safety of workers, pedestrians, and vehicles on the street below. Workers used a combination of scaffolding types during different phases of the job.
Pedestrian protection included a fence around the property, netting each phase to contain dust and debris, and providing covered areas for building entrances. Masons staggered their work times in entrance doorways to allow partial access through all entrances during business hours and help minimize disruption.
Workers removed all bird droppings and miscellaneous metals before cleaning each façade. WEI's workers wore disposable coveralls and half-mask respirators after completing mandatory respirator training. Crews misted the droppings with water and used wooden trowels to reduce scratching and damage to the stone. Before misting the façade with water, they filled large cracks or voids with backer rod to minimize water infiltration.
Non-masonry work included installing a new wood-framed gutter cap with standing seam copper, removing deteriorated sealant from exterior window frames and completely recaulking all joints of the limestone addition. WEI also cleaned and repainted the balcony rails and decorative entrance lamps.