Wadsworth Atheneum
Wadsworth Atheneum
Wadsworth Atheneum

The Wadsworth Atheneum is a multi-building art museum complex built between 1842 and 1950. The atheneum suffered from water leakage that was damaging decorative plaster, threatening art storage areas, and causing extensive degradation of the stone facade. SGH conducted a multi-phase facade and roof condition assessment in 2000 and was then retained to design interim repairs.

Scope | Solutions

The buildings are clad in marble, granite, and limestone with wood, bronze, and stained glass windows. The roofs are a complex system of low-slope roofs and raised roof monitors that previously housed skylights. SGH conducted a multi-phase facade and roof condition assessment using conventional and rope access techniques. Highlights of SGH’s work include the following:

  • Conducted water testing and made observations of concealed conditions at exploratory openings
  • Completed a follow-up assessment and issued a report that the Wadsworth is using as a fund-raising tool to develop a construction fund for long-term repairs
  • Developed prioritized repair and maintenance recommendations for the windows, roofs, facade, and below-grade waterproofing 
  • Designed temporary repairs to mitigate leakage and developed concepts to stabilize deteriorated masonry
  • Designed replacement roofs for two of the five buildings and below-grade waterproofing details to protect art storage areas
  • Assisted the architect in developing a design package to repair masonry facades, replace additional building roofs, and restore skylights