Hollywood, Los Angeles County,
The Nash Building in Hollywood was but a former shadow of its earlier vestige by the time it was adaptively re-used and not a moment too soon. Commercial use had reduced the former facade to a welter of small stalls and large graphic output.
This project involved terra cotta reproduction, replication, and matching, in addition to brick restoration. The original Beax-Arts terra cotta details were covered over with slab-sided solutions, with some remaining original detail that we were able to reproduce.
The Nash Building was an integral component of the historic Hollywood Core, located across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theater, a block from the Roosevelt Hotel, and at the center of the activity surrounding Hollywood Boulevard.
Situated on Hollywood Boulevard across the street from Grauman's Chinese Theater, this nucleus of historic Hollywood was a tourist attraction even during the dark days of the neighborhood's decline in the 70s and 80s. Non-sympathetic treatments of the historic facade were typical for this period.
In a typical example of less-than-conscious commercial excess, the original Beax-Arts terra cotta details were covered over with slab-sided solutions. Fortunately they didn't remove all original detail, and we were able to reproduce the small amount left with considerable accuracy.
The upper two floors of brick veneer had been coated multiple times over the years and were a challenge to restore to the original speckled-glaze finish without damaging the ceramic skin. Many iron anchors were removed and the abatement process was very thorough, removing both old coatings and original pointing mortar.
Here our new FRC (Fiber Reinforced Concrete) pilaster cover has been installed next to an original terra cotta capital. After repairs to the original are made, a final coating of color-matched acrylic paint will be applied to protect the surfaces, both old and new. Care will of course be taken to avoid painting the grout lines, since that would give the surfaces a homogeneous and non-masonry like appearance.
The adaptive re-use plan called for the installation of a large billboard facility on the roof, making the replication and detailing of the restored parapet area an important part of the overall roof plan.
The use of the new FRC decorative trim units was exploited to allow us to modify and trim the previously manufactured units to fit at each specific location. Such 'Field Trimming' is not at all unusual and provides a flexible tool to allow for the successful completion of installation of the facade components.
Detailing in this sort of installation is critical, so that the result will be a long-term and durable solution. Here the new FRC is installed over hot-dipped galvanized steel ledge anchors attached to the backup masonry with stainless steel anchors. Such a rust-phobic approach will increase the chances of this work being around for the next 100 years.
Stainless steel threaded rod set in epoxy adhesive made sure that the new decorative units would not be easily moved around by normal movement. All FRC was ultimately painted to preserve its resistance to moisture.
Here the new FRC is installed and ready for the installation of adjacent cement stucco coating to complete installation of materials in the parapet area.
Replacement FRC units were also installed over the third floor windows using stainless steel anchors and epoxy adhesive, as guided by the historic photos.
A fish-scale surface was created for the areas at the two parapet caps, but this a bit of artistic license on our part since the historic photos were too fuzzy to confirm this detail. However, it is in keeping with similar Beax-Art commercial facades and detailing of the same period. Sensitivity and consciousness are very important components of the design and execution process of any historic re-creation.
Here the final FRC detailing has been installed and the waterproof barrier placed to complete the final preparation of the details before cement stucco installation.
Here's a shot from across the street at the Kodak Theater, showing the finished detail in the context of the building parapet.
Our treatment of the lower area involved the recreation and restoration of a wide variety of terra cotta and stucco surfaces.
Here's a quick reminder of the lovely facade we started with....
...and a view of the same area after we were done. Our folks voted for the latter version....
We like to think of this project as restoring a historical context to the never-ending tourist and commercial crucible that is Hollywood Boulevard.