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.
Our masons are hard at work repairing a severely damaged screen wall while our abatement crew removes all the lead paint and asbestos at the pool windows at the University of Southern California’s historic Physical Education building.
USC Physical Education Building window restoration and screen wall repair in progress
The Romanesque Revival style Physical Education Building at the University of Southern California was designed by John & Donald Parkinson and completed in 1930. The building was also recently named an LA Historic Cultural Monument (along with 12 other buildings on the USC Campus) and is USC’s oldest on campus athletic center including an indoor olympic sized pool.
KC Restoration will be starting restoration of the original steel windows (which have been suffering due to the exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals) in the pool soon!
The pool makes a cameo in this recent ESPN College Football commercial (at the 0:16 mark).
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.
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.
Masons working on a repair mockup early in the morning at the historic Bovard Auditorium at University of Southern California. The cast stone window sills are suffering from some pretty severe iron jacking. The interior auditorium underwent an extensive renovation about 10 years ago, and we’ll be starting the exterior masonry restoration in less than 2 weeks!
Where were you 23 years ago? We were busy restoring the Bradbury Building (which had been recently purchased by Ira Yellin), one of KC Restoration’s first projects. Its understated exterior houses one of the city’s most beautiful commercial spaces. The building is listed on the National Register, is a National Landmark, and an LA Monument.
We worked with architect Brenda Levin, and our work on the building included recreation and replacement of exterior deteriorated sandstone, fabrication of decorative metal stairway panels, recreation of custom bronze door hardware, fabrication of decorative elevator gate, restoration of glass ceiling over the atrium and complete stripping and refinishing of all woodwork including doors, windows, railings, and moldings.