First United Methodist Church

Overlooking the shore of Corpus Christi Bay in Corpus Christi, Texas stands the historic First United Methodist Church with its towering steeple and monument to Jesus, his arms outstretched to the bay at the helm of a fishing boat. When the 53-year-old masonry and concrete church started to show signs of weathering, Western Specialty Contractors – San Antonio, Texas branch was called in to assess the damage and restore the landmark church's facade.


Due to its limited accessibility, Western crews and facility engineer Manny Gallardo had to get creative with how they surveyed the damage to the church's 150-foot-tall steeple.


“We used a telescope and stood across the street to try and view all of the different concrete spalls in the tower. We were actually able to gather a large amount of data by using a drone with a video camera to fly around the building and get a close-up of all the conditions,” said San Antonio Branch Manager Dan Wicht.


After the assessment was complete, Western determined that 100 percent of the mortar on the church's brick facade (approx. 11,850 square feet) would need to be replaced, concrete would need to be repaired, and all sealants would need to be replaced with silicone. Additionally, the original steel brick ties supporting the masonry steeple had completely rusted away due to the salty air and were no longer providing support to the brick wall. Western crews would have to install 2,000 Helifix 316 stainless steel wall anchors to re-anchor the brick wall to the steeple's substrate.


Due to limited access to the tower's upper sections and the amount of time and money it would take just to gain access to the tower, church officials elected to use all top-of-the line materials to prolong the life of the steeple's restoration work.


“The new anchors are made of all top-of-the-line stainless steel materials and are expected to have a lifespan of over 100 years, which is a must for a building located across the street from a bay,” said Wicht.


Once the tower was made structurally sound, Western crews performed a complete restoration on the church which included removing and replacing all exterior sealants, performing 7,500 square feet of tuckpointing, replacing any broken or cracked bricks and performing detailed concrete repairs. In order to maintain the church's historical integrity, Western crews created custom mortar and concrete colors using Cathedral Stone Products, Inc. to match all new materials to the original work.


After the main restoration work was complete, Western crews took great care to power wash and clean the entire church's facade using an electric power-washer with a max PSI of 1,600, so as to not damage the existing brick and concrete. Application of a protective sealant to the entire church completed the five-month restoration project for Western.


Engineering support on the project was provided by David Day with CASA Engineering of Harlingen, TX.



Broadway National Bank

Western Specialty Contractors was asked to restore the exterior of the headquarters’ building of one of the largest independent banks in the region, Broadway National Bank.

Western completed a variety of work to the exterior. To begin, the sealants in all joints were removed and replaced with new silicone sealant. All exterior quartz tiles were then removed and replaced. The unique replacement tiles were quarried on the back side of the Himalayans, shipped by truck through the mountains to India and then put on an ocean freighter to Longbeach California. After clearing customs they were then shipped by freight lines to Western’s warehouse.

Some of the existing marble panels were cracked. Western’s crew repaired these panels in place whenever possible. Any panels beyond repair were removed and replaced.

Once the restoration was complete, all exterior marble panels were chemically cleaned and pressure washed to a like-new appearance.

All worked was finished on schedule and with minimal disruption to the patrons and employees of the bank.

Attorney General Warehouse

Western was awarded a contract to apply a non-slip anti-corrosion coating to a number of steel stairways at the Attorney General’s warehouse in Austin, TX.

After the coating work was completed, the project grew to include the loading dock area. The same coating was applied to all horizontal surfaces. The concrete around the loading dock had been damaged by trucks backing into it.

The Western crew removed the deteriorated concrete and treated the reinforcing steel for corrosion. The areas were then formed with steel plates and high strength concrete was then placed. The scope of work also included replacing sealants, water repellent, sand blasting, painting, and miscellaneous small repairs. To complete the project, new rubber bumpers were added and coating was applied to the diamond steel plate.

The work was phased for customer convenience, completed on time and within budget.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of eleven presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses forty five million pages of historical documents which include the papers from the entire public career of Lyndon Baines Johnson and also from those of close associates. These papers and the vast administrative files from the presidency are used primarlily by scholars. The Museum provides year-round public viewing of its permanent historical and cultural exhibits.

Exposed to the elements for 30 years, the building suffered exterior deterioration. Western Specialty Contractors' San Antonio Branch worked with WJE to restore the building. The scope of work included several items.

The old elastomeric coating was removed with a 5,000 PSI presure washer. The water was collected and pumped into a holding tank. After five days it was tested and then disposed. Deteriorated concrete was removed and repaired. Sealant was also repaired. Finally, a new elastomeric coating was applied to the concrete facade.


Crockett Hotel

The Crockett Hotel stands near where Davy Crockett defended the southeast palisade of the Alamo during a 13 day siege in February – March, 1836. The property was converted from agricultural to commercial use after the war. In 1909, a fraternal organization built the current six-story building to serve as a hotel and fraternal lodge. The seven-story west wing was added in 1927. The building was carefully renovated to preserve its original grandeur in 1982, earning it a place on the National Register of Historic Structures. In 2007, Western was contracted to clean exterior masonry, perform miscellaneous tuckpointing, apply a clear sealer, and paint all exterior windows, doors, and fire escapes.