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Terminal Tower Exterior Restoration Nears Completion - Cont'd
building, one of the most elaborate skyscrapers ever
required an extremely complex exterior rehabilitation program that
terra cotta elements, as well as metal and limestone units. The
main shaft of the Terminal tower is
faced with Indiana oolitic limestone while the crown is cast metal, but
ornamental elements of the lower floors and the entire upper portion
of a glazed fired clay product known as architectural terra cotta. Using
terra cotta spared the expense of
laboriously carving each block from stone. Terra
cotta is also a lighter, more easily attached and, in
many respects, more durable material than stone.
the Terminal Tower, which opened at the onset of
the Great Depression, then went through a series of owners, never had
maintenance its exterior needed. It
also went through years
when the city had severe air pollution,
before the Environmental Protection Act. Additionally,
its terra cotta
units were fastened to the steel structure
with metal straps that corroded when joints opened to admit moisture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terracotta In
1952 an elaborate bracketed balcony
at the base of the great arches on each side, was stripped away and
a plain band of masonry.
tall buildings in other cities underwent more wholesale
patchwork instead of removal was the course of action, until the
deteriorated to the point where numerous upper floor offices and other
Forest City Enterprises, one of the nation's largest urban development firms, has its headquarters in Cleveland. http://www.forestcity.net/Pages/default.aspx It purchased the Terminal Tower 20 years ago and utilizes much of it for offices, developing a retail center from the long abandoned rail station at its base. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_Tower
Terminal Tower has some great interior spaces which have
been, or in the process or are planned for rehabilitation.
main lobby or portico was restored
not that long ago.
Suite, or former Van Sweringen city residence on the 10th-13th
floors, has been freshened up and redecorated to some extent, with a
thorough rehabilitation planned. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_spivack/sets/72157594284095193/ The
Offices need a tenant before rehabilitation of their grand and largely
interiors can be undertaken.
is now underway on returning the 42nd
floor Observation Deck back to
its original character.
will be open for private tours and for use by civic groups and perhaps
to the general public on occasion.
federal and state preservation tax credits helped fund a
significant portion of this multi-million dollar project.
McQuillin serves as preservation
consultant and Barber and Hoffman were engineers for the project.
The entire 15th floor and 36th floor cornices were replaced with an identically cast but much lighter weight and more durable stone-like material as part of this project. New fasteners are now rustproof stainless steel. Many upper level ornaments, which had disintegrated or had been removed, are now duplicated, using cast stone, architectural fiberglass and terra cotta. Existing sound facings were coated with a new membrane that gives the appearance of stone but which, with periodic renewals, is warranted to last for many years. With a diligent management program, the Terminal TowerÕs magnificent and dramatic, highly elegant exterior has been safeguarded for generations.