Restoring an historic building to its original form
The landmarked Sun Building was built in 1914 to house the Lowell Sun newspaper operation. The 10-story steel-framed, exterior masonry wall building currently serves as an elderly residential building.
We were retained by American Properties Team (APT) to provide structural engineering and architectural services to restore the historic structural framing and façade.
- We provided façade inspection, involving probes to assess the existing condition of the masonry façade and steel-framed structure.
- We identified bulging and loose masonry areas of the façade that required immediate stabilization.
- Subsequently, we developed construction documents for a complete restoration, which included repair and replacement of cracked masonry, lintel replacement, replacement of slate windowsills, reinforcement of masonry piers and full repointing.
- The structural rehabilitation required the reinforcement of several spandrel beams and exterior columns to address years of water infiltration.
- One challenge was to remove and replace five stories of a corroded corner column with a new column section.
- The building remained occupied throughout construction and was only vacated when the column was removed and replaced.
- We worked with the city of Lowell Landmark Commission to preserve the aesthetics of the original design, including brick color matching.