Albany, NY

Albany City Hall Tower Study

Scope/Solutions

Albany City Hall was designed by H.H. Richardson and constructed between 1881 and 1883. The building has exterior mass masonry walls of Milford granite and East Longmeadow brownstone trim and ornamentation. Architecturally, City Hall is anchored by the 200+ foot tower at the southwest corner of the building. The tower includes an open belfry level, a large pyramidal stone roof, and a stair turret. The city was concerned about leakage through the tower and turret roofs and the related brownstone and structural deterioration.

SGH completed a field investigation and provided a comprehensive report with findings and remediation options. We found that most of the active leakage occurred through the stone roofs and was the cause of interior damage, corrosion of embedded framing, and deterioration of the tower floor and masonry.

  • Conducted a comprehensive condition assessment of the stone tower masonry and related structural framing, including hands-on survey using rope access techniques, water testing to determine leakage paths, and exploratory openings to assess the condition of the embedded steel
  • Performed petrographic studies of brownstone to determine durability
  • Completed structural assessment with a focus on the remaining capacity of the corroded steel ties within the pyramid tower
  • Developed preliminary repair options: Immediate repairs to address potential safety hazards and to address leakage into occupied spaces; Level 1 repairs to address some of the primary leakage sources without a full rebuild of the roof; and Level 2 long-term tower roof repairs
  • Provided cost estimates for repairs, considering available municipal funds, and assisted the city in identifying potential sources for outside funding rehabilitation of the landmark building

Project Summary

completion-date

2012

Completion Date
Solutions
Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Services
Building Enclosures | Structures | Applied Science & Research
Markets
Government
Client(s)
City of Albany Division of Engineering
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing | Materials Science | Microscopy

Key team members

Nick Floyd
Nick Floyd
Senior Project Manager
Susan  Knack-Brown
Susan Knack-Brown
Building Technology Division Head, Boston