The Metropolitan Tower is currently undergoing a massive face-lift. The old steel structure and limestone clad structure is being converted from a representative of a roaring 20’s office building to a new modern up-scale condominium on the beautiful Magnificent Mile. The owner, Metropolitan Properties of Chicago wanted to equally address the facade during the major conversion and put a nice polish to this historic jewel.
Western Specialty Contractors was chosen to perform the necessary repairs as designed by Thornton Tomasetti. Western provided 100% access to the engineers in order to inspect nearly 200,000 square feet of the building’s facade by utilizing swing-stages. It took approximately 35 drops to access this area with swing-stages ranging from 20’ to 40’ in length. Tomasetti would inspect the drop and mark repairs needed; Western would follow up and perform the repairs. The largest challenges in this project were to safely maneuver the swingstages around this historic building. The large water-tables posed awkward obstacles during vertical travel. Also, enormous architectural columnade construction made it very difficult to reach the building from the swing-stages. Western developed safe and efficient ways to provide access and perform the necessary repairs.
The majority of Western’s work consisted of grinding out old caulk at the head joints of the limestone and replacing it with mortar, approximately 40,000 linear feet. Other work included:
- Routing and sealing all skyward facing limestone joints
- Routing and sealing cracks in limestone
- Limestone patching
- Installation of epoxy stabilization pins
- Rebuilding of limestone
- Limestone Dutchman
- Shelf angle restoration
- Brick rebuilding
- Brick parapet rebuilding
- Brick tuck pointing
- Metal panel restoration