Boston, MA

Clearway Street Apartments


The First Church of Christ, Scientist (TFCCS) owns and manages fourteen four-story brick apartment buildings on Clearway Street. TFCCS observed that the buildings, which were built in the 1890s, exhibited signs of settlement in the form of cracks in interior wall and ceiling plaster, cracks in the exterior brick masonry walls, jammed doors, and sloping floors and ceilings. TFCCS retained SGH to determine the cause of the damage and recommend repairs.

Our assessment of the existing structures included the following:

  • Interior inspection to document existing damage
  • Settlement monitoring over time
  • Subsurface exploration to identify existing soil and groundwater conditions
  • Foundation testing, including load testing, extracting cores for microscopic examination, and manual and mechanical probing to assess the condition of the untreated timber piles

We determined the damage was caused by building settlement as a result of deterioration at the top of some timber piles. The deterioration was attributed to fungal and soft rot attack caused by continued lowering of the local groundwater level. We provided structural and geotechnical design services and developed a comprehensive repair that, where necessary, re-supported the framing on new steel columns, new concrete grade beams, and new permanent steel cased and grouted micropiles. We led a team of sub-consultants that developed a groundwater recharge system to maintain the local groundwater level to arrest the pile deterioration and mitigate damage to the existing salvageable wood piles. Our repair design allowed for continuous occupancy of the building during the work.

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Specialized Capabilities
Repair & Strengthening | Geotechnical

Key team members

William Konicki
William Konicki
Senior Principal
Aaron Lewis
Aaron Lewis
Structural Engineering Region Head, East