Size: 100,000 SF
PROJECT OF THE YEAR: HISTORIC RESTORATION
Owner: Park National Bank
Property Manager: Jones Lang & LaSalle
Masonry Contractor: Superior Waterproofing & Restoration Co.
Engineer: Walter P. Moore
Masonry Supplier: Architectural Stone
From its first life as the largest and busiest passenger rail terminal in the world to its present day position as one of the top attractions in the St. Louis region, the century-old St. Louis Union Station boasts a unique and colorful history.
On Sept. 1, 1894, the Station opened as the largest and most beautiful rail terminal in the U.S. Over twice as large as its nearest competitor, this enormous project was built at a cost of $6.5 million. The gem of this new station was the Grand Hall with its gold leaf, Romanesque arches, 65 ft barrel-vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows.
Just beyond the Headhouse is the Midway, which was well-named since it not only served as the midway space between waiting rooms, offices and train platforms, but also as the midway point where friends bid farewell or welcomed visitors. In its heyday during the mid 1940's, the Midway was the spot where more than 100,000 passengers a day traversed to or from a train.
In 1970, this magnificent Station was designated as a National Historic Landmark. In 2006, Superior Waterproofing & Restoration Co. was hired to perform a complete masonry restoration of over 100,000 sq ft of exterior stone facade, including the 210 ft tall clock tower. The project took nearly two years, with a finishing cost of $3 million.
The facade exterior was tuck pointed 100% with Edison Coatings Spec 46 High-Performance custom mortar. Due to the extreme stone profiles, the joints were chiseled to a 1 in. depth to ensure decades of lasting performance.
Hundreds of pieces of stone were deteriorated beyond restoration and in need of replacement. Local supplier Architectural Stone provided all replacement stone. They also took on one of the project's greatest challenges: replacing the crest at the 5th floor level on the northeast corner of the clocktower.
This 9 ft monument features two bears holding the state seal, and is shaped around the outside corner of the building. Architectural Stone's Vaughn Akins hand carved the monument's 45 pieces, which were reassembled on site by Superior Waterproofing.
The challenge was that the existing crest was so deteriorated and patched over, most of the details were missing. Vaughn replicated its design through historic photos and direction from historical consultants. He dedicated six months to recreate a historic feature that the owners kept as a part of St. Louis' most notable historic structure.
Aside from the replacement stone, Superior Waterproofing spent thousands of hours restoring detailed ornamentation that a hundred years of weathering and age had worn away. Jahn's Restoration Mortar was used to replace artistic details.
The Station was also severly stained with heavy black carbon build-up, on which chemical cleaning was completely ineffective. Superior Waterproofing cleaned several thousand square feet of ornamental limestone using baking soda blasting. This method was highly effective and environmentally safe. The mall and hotel remained in operation throughout the entire project.