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Webster Hall, home of the Rauner Special Collections Library, was exhibiting signs of accelerated degradation of roof and cornice materials. The copper roof and decorative cornice are important elements of the building's design. Several modillions (similar to corbels) have dislodged from the structure over the last 18 months, and recent destructive testing has shown that damage to interior steel supports was more extensive than initially anticipated. The goal of the current project is to implement a comprehensive restoration over the next two construction seasons and eliminate all sources of water infiltration by replacing roofing and sealants. Restoration of decorative cornice elements in a new manner to remove reliance on failing steel elements is another major part of the scope of work.
Replacement of the five lower roofs is well underway.
These roofs include some of the most detailed copper work that Mahan Roofing has undertaken for us on campus. While relatively small, each one has a significant portion of flat-seamed soldered panels. These roofs also include custom fabricated bullnose and stepped cornice treatments that bound the mansard style slopes.
Installation of the modillions on the eastern facing cornice is now substantially complete.
Approximately two weeks of preparation work culminated in the actual installation of 27 new modillions in one day by the crew from Liszt Masonry Restoration. Curing will take another week, in the meantime, preparation for the final 27 modillions on the west cornice will begin.
Removal of the staging will begin mid-March to accommodate the Library's April events.