Monogram Building

Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Masonry Restoration Branch recently completed a $1.2 million facade restoration of the historic Monogram Building at 1706 Washington Ave. in Downtown St. Louis.

Developer Michael Knight, a partner at Revive Capital Development of Kansas City, MO, converted the nine-story brick and terra cotta building, renamed Monogram on Washington, into 168 modern, luxury apartments (112 one-bedroom, 32 two-bedroom and 24 studio), complete with a roof-top pool. The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, originally opened in 1910 as a millinery factory and warehouse in the city's former garment district.

Western Specialty Contractors first contracted with St. Louis-based general contractor Paric Corporation in November 2016 to begin work on the building's west elevation while abatement work was getting started. This first phase included installation of 28 new window openings with new lintels and precast sills, 30% brick tuck pointing, pressure washing the entire facade and caulking all window perimeters. Western crews also cut an opening in the south elevation for a buck hoist to be installed. This first phase was completed in September 2017.

A second contract was issued to Western for additional facade restoration work to the north, south and east elevations. Western used two suspended scaffolding and four masons to complete the work in October 2017. The work included:

  • South elevation – tuck pointing 30% of brick joints and 25% of terra cotta joints, caulking all window perimeters and pressure washing
  • North and east elevations – tuck pointing 25% of terra cotta joints and all brick joints, pressure washing, and replacing 10 pieces of missing or damaged terra cotta with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) replicas

Paric, under the direction of the owner, had Western provide a 135-foot aerial lift so that the jobsite foreman, with assistance from the engineer, could inspect all elevations. Subsequently, Western's scope of work increased to include tuck pointing all brick and terra cotta joints on the south, north and east elevations; plus replacing an additional 15 pieces of terra cotta with FRP.

With the scope of work more than doubling for Western's crews, the change proved to be a challenge to the overall schedule for the building's new roof and pool installation. Western was able to meet the original schedule by adding two swing stages and six more masons working 10-hour shifts, seven days a week. The final facade restoration work was completed in February 2018.


One Arlington Parking Structure

Western Specialty Contractors – Chicago Concrete Restoration Branch recently repaired and protected a leaking concrete slab covering the parking garage at One Arlington in Arlington Heights, IL using a UV-stable urethane waterproofing membrane system.

Western's crews were able to prevent the deteriorated slab from further abuse, and protect the parking garage from damaging water infiltration and environmental exposures. The fluid-applied waterproofing system used is resistant to standing water, ultra violet fading, acid rain and chemical pollutants.

Renovated and opened in 2014, One Arlington is a luxury apartment complex located adjacent to the Arlington International Racecourse. When originally constructed, the underground parking garage roof, which also serves as the building's main driveway, was left exposed to the elements and not covered by a concrete topping slab, which is traditionally specified.

Years of punishing weather conditions had caused the 32,000-square-foot slab to crack severely, causing water to infiltrate into the enclosed parking structure below.

Western Specialty Contractors was contracted by Stoneleigh Companies to repair the concrete slab. The owner also hired a consultant to make recommendations for protecting the slab from future damage, and to address the excessive amount of leaking into the structure.

“It was determined that the issues would be addressed by systematically sealing the slab cracks and applying a urethane waterproofing membrane system to the entire surface,” said Chicago Concrete Restoration Branch Manager Steve Genovese. “Additionally, supplemental floor drains were added in multiple locations throughout the area to alleviate ponding issues.”

The repairs were performed in phases to maintain access into and out of the building at all times. The project was completed with a new line striping layout to maximize all of the available space. Western was able to complete the project on schedule and under budget.



Sharp Grossmont Medical Office Building

Western Specialty Contractors partnered with Tremco Roofing to investigate the leaking facade at Sharp Grossmont Medical Office Building in San Diego, California. The building was experiencing leaks and looked to the Western/ Tremco team to identify the appropriate repair solution. A remediation scope was developed but in order to verify the effectiveness of the repair, Western recommended that a mock up be conducted.


Included in the mock up was a spray rack water test. The water test caused the building to leak, and Western immediately performed the proposed remediation scope. The scope included: sealant removal and replacement on the window system, stucco crack repairs, and a primer plus two coat application of Solargard wall coating. Following the remediation scope, the same location was water tested again and there were no leaks.


Western was then contracted by Sharp Grossmont to perform the restoration scope over the entire facility. The solution development, pre-project mock up, and team approach during construction made this project a success for all parties involved; Western Specialty Contractors, Tremco Roofing, and Sharp Grossmont Medical Office Building.



Columbus Plaza Condominium

The Habitat Company, owners of the Columbus Plaza Condominium wanted to upgrade the appearance of the building’s main plaza entrance. Desman Associates were contacted to develop a restoration and waterproofing specification. Once it was finalized, Western’s Chicago branch was selected to complete the work.

The Condo’s main entrance is located above occupied retail space. Noise restrictions had to be followed because of the building tenants and nearby hotel. Since the plaza serves as the main entrance to the building, a tight working schedule had to be followed and constant communication with the property management was critical.

The project consisted of the removal of the existing concrete topping, crushed stone fill, and buried membrane system. A new buried waterproofing system was applied and then protected with an exposed aggregate decorative concrete topping. New precast concrete planter copings were also installed on the adjacent planter box. Plumbing repairs were performed to the existing drainage system.


Tenochca Hall at San Diego State University

San Diego State University approached Western Specialty Contractors to help solve water intrusion problems at Tenochca Hall. After surveying the building, it was determined that aged sealant at window wet seals, window perimeters, metal to metal joints, and stucco control joints were the issue. These sealants needed to be replaced.

A number of the building’s exterior stucco panels were cracked allowing additional water into the building. To address this issue, an elastomeric wall coating was applied to the panels. Vegetation and planters limited access around the building. This called for the use of swing stages instead of conventional lifts.

The stages were secured using parapet clamps on the roof edges. This allowed for wall access with minimal disruption to the activities below. The building could not be closed for the duration of the repairs. In an effort to minimize further disruptions, the windows were taped and blacked out before work commenced. This extra step not only minimized disruption to those inside the building, but also insured that the building itself would not be damaged.

201 Mission Street

Although new silicone sealant was installed on this building just 10 years ago, leaks have been a continual problem. Inspections determined that failing sealant covers about 10% of the facade.

To solve the problem Western replaced the sealant and completed frequent, intense, and uncompromising inspections to insure the solution had been solved.

Western worked closely with Jones Lang LaSalle to coordinate noisy work around tenant schedules to minimize noise disruptions. Grinding the joints between the precast panels creates noise and dust. There are no interior wall panels to deaden the noise or minimize the dust. The inside perimeter of the windows were taped and sacrificial backer rod was installed on the exterior, which prevented most of the dust from coming in.

Ongoing water leaks that had plagued the building for years were resolved. The project was completed with minimal disruption to the tenants.