Providence, RI

Providence Public Library


The Providence Public Library includes the original 1900 renaissance masonry building and the 1953 Neoclassical Empire Street Addition. SGH investigated the condition of the building enclosures, prioritized repair recommendations, and identified unsafe conditions. We subsequently developed a plan to mitigate fall hazards at the addition and address leakage at the original building.

SGH completed a two-phase building enclosure condition assessment, focusing on areas of reported masonry deterioration and active leakage. Our assessment included performing a visual survey; making observations at exploratory openings; water testing; and assessing the condition of the limestone and brick facades, wood and steel windows, copper roofs and gutters, skylight, and single-ply membrane roofs. SGH identified leakage through the skylight and built-in gutters, resulting in damage to the interior collection area and masonry walls below. We also noted areas of severe masonry deterioration and spalling that could potentially fall from the building. SGH worked with the library to remove spalls and reconstruct/reinforce the severely deteriorated areas to mitigate hazards.

Based on our field findings, we developed a comprehensive enclosure repair plan with prioritized repairs and multiple options as appropriate. We assisted the library by designing repairs to address the areas of active leakage. These repairs included replacing seals at the large skylight and rebuilding portions of the built-in copper gutter with a reinforced fluid-applied waterproofing. To maintain the original appearance, the decorative copper fascia was reinstalled over the rebuilt gutter.

Project Summary



Completion Date
Repair & Rehabilitation | Preservation
Building Enclosures | Applied Science & Research
Culture & Entertainment
Providence Public Library
Specialized Capabilities
Condition Assessments | Preservation | Roofing & Waterproofing | Environmental Simulations

Key team members

Susan  Knack-Brown
Susan Knack-Brown
Building Technology Division Head, Boston