APS : Architectural Preservation Services

Projects

International Hall of Flags

U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, DC

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Client

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Completion Date

2009

Background

While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has existed since 1912, it did not occupy the current building at Lafayette Park until 1925. Construction began in 1922 on the Beaux-Arts building by skyscraper pioneer Cass Gilbert, who is the architect of the Woolworth Building and Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court Building and U.S. Treasury Annex in Washington, DC.

The International Hall of Flags (formerly the National Council Chamber) is the largest meeting space at the DC Chamber of Commerce Building. The coffered ceiling is painted plaster made to look like large timber construction. The coffer interiors are stenciled and contain painted plaster bas-reliefs.

Scope

Some areas of damage had been noted by the building's staff, prompting the request for a survey and assessment. APS conducted a condition survey of the painted ceiling from scaffolding towers and performed cleaning tests to determine the most gentle and effective method to remove the soiling from the painted surface. A full report was provided to the Chamber, including research on the building and painting's history, treatment and maintenance recommendations, and a diagram of the deteriorated areas.