Demolition is 75 percent complete inside downtown's Broderick Tower, which is scheduled to reopen for commercial and residential use in early fall of 2012. That big yellow chute visible on the side of the building? That's where hazardous materials have been removed -- all the way up to floor 29.
"It was in rough condition. Not the roughest I've ever seen, but pretty rough," says Kraemer Design Group's
Brian Rebain, the architect who's managing the project. Faulty roof conductors leaked water into the building, which crumbled much of the concrete on the building's upper floors. Old carpet, peeling paint, forgotten furniture. Vandalism and graffiti. "I have seen worse buildings, but you gotta strip it clean before you start building again," he says.
Rebain says much of the Broderick's original splendor will be maintained -- and in some cases, restored. Much of the building's original plaster walls and original beams will be on display. While many of the Broderick's materials and finishes will be more contemporary, the structure's old-time elegance will be visible in the historic lobby off of Witherell. The lobby's black marble and tiled floors, ceiling and brasswork will all be preserved.
As for the exterior, "it will definitely keep it's historic feel," Rebain says. "Some of the additions that had happened over the years -- like adding veneer brick to the lower levels -- that's going to be removed, and we're going to see the granite back again." The aluminum storefront will also be located, and the exterior's masonry and terra cotta finishes will be given a good spruce-up.
Though construction on the tower will continue for another 18 months, Rebain says finishing the demolition on a renovation project of this magnitude is an exciting milestone. "That first step, when everything is cleaned up, and you can kind of get it down to the bones again...that, in and of itself, is a great moment."
Source: Brian Rebain, project architect, Kraemer Design Group
Writer: Ashley C. Woods