Mary Adams Rehabilitation

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outside in
Posts: 1271
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: chicago

Mary Adams Rehabilitation

Post by outside in »

Restoration/Rehabilitation Work on the Mary Adams House has begun. First task, remove all of the bad patches, cementitious paint, etc. from exterior stucco by means of water/sand blasting. This process has revealed that the final color of the house was obtained by a tinted lime wash rather than tinted stucco.
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The East Elevation was in particularly poor condition.
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The brick pier foundations that support the front porch are in pretty good shape BELOW grade, but are deteriorating above ground level. the structure will be temporarily shored and the brick caps replaced with historic chicago common brick.
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New steel has been placed beneath a bearing wall. The wall was supported by a thin, 2 inch thick concrete floor slab. Between the slab failing, and the wood plate rotting, the wall had settled 2-1/2 inches over time.
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The brick foundation wall has failed in two places as well: beneath the kitchen (east) wall and beneath the dining room (south) wall. The brick is presently being removed in these areas and replaced with reinforced concrete. The remaining foundation walls will be parged, damp-proofed and then faced with 1/4 Bentonite (volclay) boards with 2 inches of Rigid Insulation on top. A new subsurface foundation drainage system connected to a sump pump will be installed prior to backfilling.
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I will do my best to keep the construction shots current - stay tuned!

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Thanks, John. This stuff is fascinating.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

One trusts that unsightly basement access will be removed?
Last edited by Roderick Grant on Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Seems as if you really enjoy the challenging ones, John.

Well, on the bright side, this one has no purple carbunkle to remove!


David

pharding
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Post by pharding »

If the sump pit and pump is in the basement and connected to a perimeter foundation drainage system, a heavy rain with rising water table that is higher than the drainage tile will cause major challenges. The surrounding water will flow from the drainage tile into the sump pit and quickly overwhelm the pump(s) flooding the basement. The problem in the Chicago area with a water table that varies significantly from area to area and even in the exact same location is especially challenging and expensive to address. If the basement walls are waterproofed and the water is not drained into the sump pit a high water table will rupture the typical basement slab.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

pharding
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Post by pharding »

On the Davenport House Restoration we picked up water coming off of the roof and surface groundwater adjacent to the house with a perimeter French Drain system. The French Drain System channeled the water to a dry well. The dry well is located on the slightly downhill side of our property next to the front sidewalk well away form the house. French Drains are located approximately 24" below grade which is a higher elevation than the typical foundation drainage system. This appears to be working well.

Prairie Houses, like the Davenport House, in many cases had stone foundations with lime mortar joints. This type of construction was never intended for finished basements and presents technical challenges, associated with moisture and indoor air quality. Past owners have treated the symptoms of the problem by parging the interior of the stone walls in an attempt to control moisture and present a more finished interior surface. I do not like systems that trap moisture within wall assemblies so I am removing the interior parging. I am going leave the stone foundation exposed and control the humidity in a robust proactive manner with mechanical ventilation and humidification.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

dleach
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Location: Fair Oaks, CA

Post by dleach »

Paul, I agree with your opinion regarding sealing moisture bearing assemblies. A case in point here in California: The misguided efforts of "preservationists" who tried to arrest the deterioration of adobe mission walls by stuccoing the exteriorof the wall. The result: spalling of the adobe under the stucco.
Collecting moisture at the exterior, opening the wall and controlling the humidity mechanically is a sound technical approach. Moisture problems usually call for multiple control measures. Good work!

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

dleach, that process of stuccoing exterior adobe walls was used when constructing the NM version of the Burlingham House, but seems not to have had any negative effects. Do you suppose the adobe under all lthat stucco is rotting away?

dleach
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Post by dleach »

RG, It may be. Perhaps the drier NM climate (the monsoons notwithstanding) has delayed or reduced the effects of the stucco treatment.
Here on the 200 year old adobe walls the results with the stucco were quite disastrous. Its been about 8 years since I was involved in the restoration efforts, last I heard the preferred methodology for protecting the adobe was to use the traditional whitewash.

outside in
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Post by outside in »

Mary Adams Update - The exterior stucco has been cleaned of paint and various plaster/acrylic finishes. Finish coat will be applied after wood staining, roofing and other exterior work completed. Currently repairing sagging cantilevered roofs by adding steel to the hip rafters. Sheathing is removed and roof framing exposed:

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Exposed framing shows 2-1/2 inches of "meat" over exterior wall framing (no wonder it deflected). Flitches to be added to one side of hip rafter and through-bolted.
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Steel plates ready to be installed.
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Porch roof is not level, east side is about 3 inches lower than west side:
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Support header at ends of cantilevered beams are both split - header attached (nailed) to bottom of header - deflection occurred when beam ends split. Roof to be jacked level, beam ends wrapped and sister beams to be installed.
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Exterior Pine trim is now stripped - new stain to be applied after final wood cleaning. Windows are currently being stripped - paint analysis shows that the current ivory color was painted over the original brown sash color.
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South Elevation - Roofing and Gutters are next!
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DRN
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Post by DRN »

outside in:
The windows and trim wood look great after stripping. What method was used to strip them?
Was any wood in need of outright replacement?

outside in
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Post by outside in »

We haven't fully assessed the condition of all of the trim, but it appears that it will all be salvageable. The overhangs do a pretty good job of protecting the sash and trim, but on the west elevation the windows are pushed out to within a foot of the fascia, and the trim at the sills is marginal. We are going to experiment with the West epoxy system to rebuild the wood profiles and stain over with Sikkens - probably a semi-transparent stain.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

One of those steel plates is notched, and maybe at both ends. It's really long too. At the risk of being a greedy pest, would love to see some posts of that installation. Many thanks for this though.

outside in
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Post by outside in »

Tom,

Hmm, didn't notice any notches this morning - maybe you're seeing sticks, grass or something? I'll be happy to post pics once installed.

pharding
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Post by pharding »

outside in wrote: Image
Looking good! In the band of basement windows there is an extra mullion on the right side that appears to have been added. Is that original or was it added at some point in time? What is its purpose? Will it remain?

Will the current transformer cabinet and overhead electric service remain?
Last edited by pharding on Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

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