Old State House

Boston, MA

Market: Cultural


Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc.
Tellalian Associates Architects & Planners, LLC
The Bostonian Society




2015 Preservation Achievement Award, Boston Preservation Alliance
Old State House Boston
Old State House Boston
Old State House Boston

The Old State House in Boston, originally constructed in 1713, was largely reconstructed in 1748 after a fire.  The building served as the colony seat prior to the American Revolution, is a National Historic Landmark, and is part of Boston’s Freedom Trail.  Today, the Old State House is occupied and maintained by the Bostonian Society.  SGH initially worked as the structural engineer for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) subway station renovation below the building and has continued to work on the landmark for various projects since then.

Scope | Solutions

Renovating the MBTA station involved temporarily supporting and underpinning the below-grade station supporting the Old State House above.  SGH developed emergency repairs for cracked masonry columns, specified epoxy injection of beams, designed new columns, and determined that several old columns could be removed.

In 1999, SGH consulted on the building enclosure and investigated the causes of persistent moisture problems and extensive damage to the interior finishes at the northeast corner of the building.  We recommended historically sensitive repairs and when funding was available approximately a decade later, our repair recommendations were implemented.

Starting in 2009, SGH worked for The Bostonian Society to document and consult on the building structure.  Our work included reviewing historical documentation to produce a time line of structural alterations since the original construction; surveying the existing floor structure using nondestructive testing methods; producing detailed framing plans; estimating the structure’s load-bearing capacity; consulting on corrosion of plaza framing over the below-grade boiler; and developing structural repairs related to removing, refurbishing, and reinstalling the lion and unicorn sculptures on the east elevation.  The project team earned a 2015 Preservation Achievement Award for the sculpture restoration project.

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