Illinois National Bank

Historic restoration experts Western Specialty Contractors – Springfield, IL Branch recently completed a two-month project to repair the limestone base of landmark Illinois National Bank (INB) in Springfield, IL.


Located in the city's prominent historical section, just blocks from President Abraham Lincoln's home and the Old State Capitol, the building's limestone base had deteriorated over time due to age, weathering and salts/deicers applied to the concrete sidewalks and streets adjacent to the building.


Bank owners contacted Western Specialty Contractors directly to make the needed repairs and maintain the building's historical integrity. Western consulted on the project with Cathedral Stone, a nationwide manufacturer of limestone and brick masonry restoration materials.


“After in-depth discussions with all parties about replacing the limestone pieces versus restoration patching, it was decided that the deteriorated limestone would be patched with limestone repair mortar Jahn M70 manufactured by Cathedral Stone,” said Scott Haas, Western Springfield, IL Branch Manager. “This restoration technique made more sense than replacing the limestone, which would have required removal and reinstallation of some windows in order to replace some of the stones.”


Before any materials were ordered for the project, restoration experts with Western and Cathedral Stone performed onsite mockups of the patch material to determine a custom-designed mix ratio to match the existing limestone as closely as possible. The craftsmen utilized on the project were Jahn Certified Installers, trained by Cathedral Stone in the use of their materials.


The first step in restoring the limestone was to remove the loose and deteriorated limestone back to a depth needed to reach a sound and solid surface. Crews used light-duty electric hammers to accomplish this task.


Western's craftsmen then custom-mixed the Jahn M70 restoration mortar and patched the cavities by hand. The limestone pieces were unique in shape and ornament, so matching the existing profile as closely as possible was of high importance.


“The repair material was over-filled, which allowed it to set to the necessary state,” said Haas. “Then we shaved and carved the pieces manually to match the existing limestone.”


Bank officials were pleased with Western's attention to detail and efforts to preserve the building's historical integrity.


“Our building is almost 100 years old. Over our years of ownership, we've tried to maintain its original integrity, and the work done by Western's staff helps assure we can do this going forward as well. We appreciate the tenacity of the local crew that spent many hot summer days on our sidewalks perfecting their work,” said Tom Gihl, INB executive vice president and chief operating officer.


Capital One Plaza

Constructed in 1982, the travertine panel facade of the Capital One Plaza building in Houston, Texas was showing signs of spalling and the sealants were failing from years of weather exposure. Western Specialty Contractors – Houston, Texas Branch (formerly named Western Waterproofing Company) was hired by property manager CBRE to restore the 22-story building's damaged travertine facade.


Western's scope of work included removing 260 travertine panels, each weighing 700 pounds, and replacing them with new tiles imported from an Italian quarry to match. Damaged panels were repaired by using a combination of re-pinning using Helical Anchors and performing Dutchmen repairs, a technique used to replace only the faulty portion of a stone with a new stone material that closely matches.


“One of the main challenges on the project was lifting the heavy travertine pieces to their places on the building's new facade without damaging them,” said Patrick Sheeran, Western Houston Branch Manager. “Fortunately for Western, a stone fabricator located next door to our offices let us use their pneumatic stone vacuum lifter which is capable of handling stone pieces of up to 2,200 pounds.”


All existing sealants on the building were also replaced including the CMU backup joints, travertine panel joints, window perimeter joints and glass butt joints. The entire building was also cleaned and parged to create a continuous surface by filling surface air voids and bug holes in the masonry walls.


With a little ingenuity and use of the pneumatic vacuum, Western crews were able to successfully complete the project within 20 months. The project received a 2014 Pinnacle Award of Merit: Renovation/Restoration from the Marble Institute of America (MIA). The Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in commercial, residential and renovation/restoration of natural stone projects worldwide.



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.

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc.

Western Specialty Contractors was awarded the contract to serve as the general contractor for Waddell & Reed’s parking garage restoration at 6301 Lamar in Kansas City. The initial scope of work included structural concrete repairs, expansion joint patching, the replacement of two concrete drive approaches and spot repairs to the traffic membrane due to snow plow damage.

During the course of repairs, it was agreed upon that one 125’ long expansion joint would be removed and replaced. The entire top deck would also be coated with a Lymtal 760 deck coating system. Western and Lymtal provided the owner with a five year joint and several warranty on the new traffic membrane.

The project began in July, 2009 and because of the large amount of rain, lasted until the end of August. During the bulk of the project half of the garage and most of the lower level remained open.

All of the work was performed in close coordination with the owner and Structural Engineering Associates. This helped achieve the goal of limiting the amount of disruption to Waddell & Reed’s staff during the project.

Bank of America

The Bank of America building in La Jolla had experienced severe facade deterioration on four separate elevations. After years of moisture intrusion and a poor window ledge design, it was apparent something had to be done. Western Specialty Contractors worked with the building owners to perform exploratory work and determine how extensive of a repair was required. The next step included working with the project consultant to create the repair specifications. Once the scope of work was agreed upon, the budget and schedule were finalized.

The project included restoring more than 4,000 square feet of building facade in two phases. This included removing the existing red carmen granite pieces, mortar, building paper and lath. Full demolition was completed down to the building metal studs. The two ninety-foot sections of vertical wall were rebuilt in two separate phases. This included several detailed items including installation of wall expansion joints, counter flashing vents, and bottom ledges. Western created a detailed schedule and the building remained open through the entire project.

The work area was closed off and debris was transported to an enclosed dumpster chute to reduce dust. The selection of stone was a critical item, since the new stone had to match the rest of the building. The custom stone ordered from Finland was delivered on time.

The project was completed on time and within the owner’s budget.


US Bank – Decorative Epoxy Floor Injection

Western Specialty Contractors was contacted to install a new flooring system to replace existing commercial carpet inside the U.S. Bank atrium. The carpet covered an area inside the atrium where pedestrian traffic from the parking garage and restaurant carts passed through on a daily basis. Chemicals from the garage and restaurant were tracked and spilled on the carpet repeatedly. The hallways needed a hard, durable, and aesthetically pleasing floor that could sustain the chemical spills from the restaurant, chloride from pedestrian traffic, and also to blend and match the new flooring to the adjacent granite pavers inside the atrium.

The flooring system was installed during the evening to keep the hallway clear and open during the day.