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Restoration Design


Balustrade Restoration

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA

The College of Physicians, founded in 1787, is the oldest professional medical organization in the country.  Its mission is “…to advance the cause of health while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine.”  The College building, designed by prominent Philadelphia architects, Cope and Stewardson and built in 1909, is a National Historic Landmark.


sbk + partners, LLC conducted a comprehensive survey, produced construction documents, and provided construction observation services for restoration of the balustrade and cornice that caps this significant building.  The balustrade is comprised of terra cotta balusters between brick and limestone piers along the west façade, and north and south sides of the building, the whole assembly unified by a continuous limestone base and coping. Three chimneys are also integral to the balustrade.


The project included repointing brick and limestone masonry, limestone masonry repairs (reattaching broken pieces), and terra cotta repairs (spalling).  Field survey revealed oxide jacking of steel roof I-beams as one cause of the balustrade’s deterioration.  I-beam locations were determined through analysis of original building drawings.  Exposing, cleaning and coating steel I-beam ends was coordinated with Keast & Hood Company structural engineers. All work was designed and executed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Buildings.


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