Wayne County Courthouse, Wooster Ohio
Constructed in 1877, the courthouse had undergone multiple restoration efforts with little oversight regarding preservation. Water infiltration had occurred over many years causing significant damage to the masonry and sandstone structure. Many of the hand carved decorative sandstone elements were spalled due to moisture infiltration.
The Architect of record, Schooley Caldwell conducted extensive on site surveys prior to the work beginning. Detailed photographs of the areas of masonry deterioration were expertly incorporated into the project documents.
WR Restoration was awarded the masonry preservation work for the Wayne County Courthouse in January of 2015. Initial efforts focused on sourcing compatible stone replacement materials and laser scanning. The original design of the Wayne County Courthouse structure incorporated two types of stone masonry, Berea and Massillon sandstone.
Years of acid rain and atmospheric dirt had stained and damaged the surfaces of the masonry units. Many had lost their original tooling / carving marks. Moreover, the acid rain had turned the originally gray sandstone to a buff color because the iron particles had oxidized. Matching the types of sandstone required traveling to and sourcing sandstone blocks for dutchman repairs that matched color and bed grain direction.
Laser scanning of the existing repair areas was conducted to recreate the decorative dutchman elements. Over 200 shop drawings were produced from the scans which in turn were approved for fabrication. Fabrication included hand carved, use of CNC machines, hand honing and field carving/fabrication. Once dutchman repairs were in place, the original tooling marks or “drove tooling” was administered along with water blasting to achieve a weather like surface.
The most complex effort on the project was the restoration of the East Portico. Restoration of this feature was like playing with a rubic’s cube but the pieces were 700 lbs. Through careful planning and ingenuity WR Restoration field craftsmen devised a shoring system within and around the scaffold to allow us to remove, prep and install the dutchman sandstones all the while supporting the structure as we removed the bearing points. The new decorative bearing blocks were meticulously manufactured with a very low tolerance. The precision of the demolition matched exactly the new decorative bearing elements perfectly allowing the structure to once again deliver its grandeur and frame the entrance to the courthouse.
This project won the Cleveland Restoration Society and AIA Cleveland 2016 Excellence in Exterior Restoration Award.
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