Historic restoration projects aren’t always glamorous, sometimes they’re necessary for public safety. We recently completed restoration and repair of the lightwell handrails and grilles at Bridge Hall at the University of Southern California.
Bridge Hall was designed by prolific LA architects John & Donald Parkinson and completed in 1928. For 86 years old, its looking pretty good today…except for the railings that surround the lightwells.
Concrete corner had been busted off and part of the handrail base was missing
Handrail base was damaged and completely detached from the concrete curb
Some of the railings were severely corroded and deteriorating
Grilles were covered in rust while the curbs had blown apart and exposed rusting rebar
Heavily cracked curbs exposed the rusting rebar
Do not climb down that ladder!
Whole corners of the concrete retaining curb had broken away. The railing was was just floating
Cracked concrete curb
Severely cracked curb
Severly cracked surb and missing railing base
While original, the handrails and grilles surrounding the lightwells were severely corroded, and the concrete curbs literally falling apart.
We were called in to fix the problem. We ended up stripping away years of lead paint from the rails, removing all of the salvageable parts, demo-ing back and repouring the heavily damaged curbs, repairing and re-installing the rails with a new rust-resistant paint job, and powder-coating the grilles. Hopefully they all last another 86 years!
Stripipng away the lead paint
Stripping away the lead paint
Demo-ing back the curbs and salvaging the rails
Bits and pieces of the railings to be repaired
Bits and pieces of the railings to be repaired
Installing new rebar before pouring back the concrete curb to match the original
Reisntalling the repaired railings
repaired railings are reinstalled
Back racks must be at a premium. One enthusiastic student locked his bike here before we had a chance to paint the railing.
USC celebrated 100 years of student health last year with the opening of the new Engemann Student Health Center in 2013. Yesterday, our work helped officially commemorate the milestone!
When the previous student health center building (built in 1950) was demolished, the cornerstone was kept as a momento. However, staff noticed something unusual about the large chunk of limestone: it protected a forgotten time capsule!
Read more about the discovery of the forgotten time capsule here.
KC Restoration built a custom base to match the new building design, cleaned and repaired the original cornerstone, etched new lettering, and set it in place just in time for the ceremony. (which made the front page of USC Daily Trojan today)
It took about 4 years to build the Queen Mary which sailed the North Atlantic from 1936-1967. Its now permanently docked in Long Beach as a hotel and fantastic place to have a party. This impressive art deco ship is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We’ve worked at the Queen Mary off and on for several years. This month we’ll be back and forth to venerable ship completing restoration on a couple of the murals, including the “Royal Jubilee Week” in the Observation Deck Bar as well as “Dressed Overall at the Quay” and “The Sea.”
In 2010 we cataloged and dismantled (and eventually reinstalled) the interior and storefront of the historic Gibbs Building (part of the Los Angeles Plaza Historic District, also known as El Pueblo de Los Ángeles State Historic Park) to accommodate the structural work for the Siqueiros mural protective shelter.
Built by Sid Grauman and Charles Toberman, and designed by Meyer & Holler in the “Egyptian Revival style”, the Egyptian Theatre opened to much acclaim in 1922 as the venue of the first ever Hollywood Premiere (Robin Hood). The theater declined in the 1980s and was eventually sold by the City of LA to American Cinemateque in 1996.
When the American Cinemateque restored the historic Egyptian Theater in 1998 its famous exterior courtyard was also part of the plan. Our participation included the restoration of three original lamps (with any missing pieces recreated) and the complete fabrication of three additional fixtures. Rewiring was completed and new lenses were installed.
Back in 1996 KC Restoration was contracted to document and catalog every piece of Angel’s Flight (down to the individual screws) so it could be properly reconstructed. This tiny funicular was first operated in 1901 and originally linked Hill St and Olive Ave. It was removed in 1969 as the site was “redeveloped” during along with much of the rest of old Bunker Hill. It was reconstructed nearby in 1996, connecting Hill St and the California Plaza, and has been in operation off and on since then. Unfortunately it is currently closed for repairs and inspections.
Angel’s Flight is on the National register of Historic Places and is LA Historic Cultural Monument #4. You can follow the Angel’s Flight cars – Olivet and Sinai – as they “chat” with each other on twitter, and occasionally offer updates and news around DTLA.
Come check out the amazing restoration of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Sunday April 27th starting at 1pm, tickets are still available through the LA Conservancy. We’ll be there to talk about the Zenitherm and all the decorative finishes we restored!
A couple of Los Angeles’ historic buildings are currently being used for unique performance venues. Linda Vista Hospital in the East Los Angeles Neighborhood of Boyle Heights is the theatrical jungle gym for Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre‘s performance called “The … Continue reading →
Sometimes the preservation world gets caught up in the need to save or freeze everything in a particular time and ignores projects that stretch the concept of “rehabilitation.”
While mobile homes are not a new concept, big kuddos to University of Minnesota graduate architecture student Hank Buttita who took an old school bus and converted it into a traveling home, complete with cool transforming furniture and repurposed/salvaged materials for his thesis project.
read more and follow along at hankboughtabus.com as Hank tests the bus on a 5,000 mile road trip