Albany, NY

Albany City Hall Tower Study


Albany’s City Hall, designed by H.H. Richardson and constructed in the early 1880s, features exterior mass masonry walls of Milford granite and East Longmeadow brownstone trim and ornamentation. Architecturally, the building is anchored at the southwest corner by the 200+ foot tower, including an open belfry level, a large pyramidal stone roof, and a stair turret. Leakage through the tower and turret roofs was leading to brownstone and structural deterioration. The city retained SGH to investigate the issues and develop remedial options.

Highlights of our investigation include:

  • Conducting a comprehensive condition assessment of the stone tower masonry and related structural framing, including hands-on surveys using rope access, water testing to determine leakage paths, and exploratory openings to assess the condition of the embedded steel
  • Determining most of the active leakage occurred through the stone roofs and was the primary cause of interior damage, corrosion of embedded framing, and deterioration of the tower floor and masonry.
  • Providing preliminary remedial options and cost estimates for:
    • Immediate repairs to address potential safety hazards and to address leakage into occupied spaces
    • Repairs to address some of the primary leakage sources without completely reconstructing the roof
    • Long-term tower roof repairs
  • Helping the city identify potential sources for outside funding for rehabilitating the landmark building
  • Developing repair documents and providing related construction phase services for ceiling, flashing, and other miscellaneous repairs

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures | Structures | Applied Science & Research
City of Albany Division of Engineering
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing | Materials Science | Microscopy

Key team members

Nick Floyd
Nick Floyd
Associate Principal
Susan  Knack-Brown
Susan Knack-Brown
Building Technology Division Head, Boston