APS : Architectural Preservation Services

Projects

Eastern High School

Washington, DC

Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5

Client

Turner Construction Company

Completion Date

2010

Background

Built in 1923 and known as the "Pride of Capitol Hill," the imposing Eastern High School recently underwent a full modernization effort, all constructed according to LEED Silver standards. The building, which is located on 17th and East Capitol Streets, will include the latest technology and amenities (such as a cyber cafe and an enclosed courtyard) while maintaining the original exterior appearance.

Scope

APS's involvement in the larger project included product testing, mortar matching, and bronze work. The limestone, brick, and granite portico was heavily stained from years of neglect. Several types of staining were evident, including rust stains on the granite balustrades, carbon crust buildup on the undersides of the limestone carvings, heavy soiling on the brick, and oily, tenacious staining on the interior limestone. An APS conservator carried out product testing on each of the different conditions in order to determine a methodology for cleaning the portico. Once suitable products had been found, masons carried out the work under the supervision of the conservator.

APS was also called upon to match the mortar on the interior brick walls. An APS conservator carefully matched the mortar to the extant material, and WEI masons were able to reinstate the wall to its original appearance.

A large bronze sundial adorns the uppermost section of the facade above the portico. Lack of maintenance over the years left the limestone heavily stained from copper and the bronze elements of the sundial severely corroded. APS removed the bronze elements and cleaned the limestone with several applications of poultice. The sundial was taken to the shop where it was cleaned, patinated, lacquered, and waxed. The finished sundial and Roman numerals were reinstalled on the cleaned limestone.