Client

Akridge

Background

The original Homer building was designed in 1913 by Appleton Prentiss Clark as an expression of the Beaux Arts aesthetic in the nation's capital. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and, in 1983, was designated as an historic landmark. In 1988, the core of the building was demolished saving only the facade. Over the next two years, the original terra cotta and cast iron facade was reconfigured to accommodate a fifth floor, two additional bays were constructed, and a seven-story cast stone and masonry addition was added above the original structure. Finally, a completely new twelve-story addition with limestone clad columns and cast stone panels were added to the east of the original structure.

Solution

The first of these close-range inspections was performed by WJE in 2002 following completion of repairs. To address hairline cracking observed during the first survey, WJE recommended a second close-range building survey to evaluate the effectiveness and durability of these repairs after two years in service. WJE performed a second survey in 2007 and completed a final survey in 2011, which included a review of the historic terra cotta base. Utilizing WJE's Difficult Access Team (DAT) allowed for an efficient review of more than thirty drops over a four-day period, after which DAT members returned to secure or remove areas of terra cotta exhibiting significant deterioration.