General Services Administration
Chicago Federal Plaza Restoration
Over 5,200 granite pavers had to be removed to repair, waterproof and insulate the plaza. Due to the plaza’s historic significance, each paver was returned to its exact original orientation.
  • Project Type
    • Restoration
  • Status
  • Delivery Method
    • Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity
  • Services
  • Location
    • Chicago, IL
  • Duration
    • 31 Months
  • Size
    • 128,000 sqft
  • Architect
    • Ghafari Associates

Project Overview

Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1974, the Chicago Federal Center Plaza contains more than 5,200 square granite pavers. Each 4-foot 8-inch paver aligns with the 28-foot grid pattern that extends into the ground-floor lobbies of two adjacent towers. The lines of the grid continue vertically up the buildings, integrating each component of the complex. The plaza restoration required removing and resetting all pavers, benches, planters and bollards to repair, waterproof and insulate the structural deck below.

Approach

Due to the historic significance of the plaza and the importance of putting each piece back exactly as it lay prior to construction, Berglund’s historic preservationist developed a set of historic treatment procedures for handling, cataloging and storing the pavers prior to construction. These procedures ensured that all historic elements were properly handled, repaired and returned to their original orientation.

Berglund videotaped the entire plaza prior to construction to document the existing condition of the historic elements. During construction, we photographed, numbered and catalogued each paver upon removal. Consistent documentation of the stone removal process ensured organization in a logistically complicated process and allowed a larger portion of the historic fabric to be reused. As a result, more than $100,000 worth of stones initially designated for replacement were instead repaired on site.

Outcomes

Once the project was complete, we provided all of the detailed pre-construction video and photo documentation to the owner. Additionally, we submitted as-built drawings of the entire plaza that detailed every stone repaired, replaced or re-sculpted. This was accompanied by a photo-database of each individual stone repair performed.

Our ability to self-perform removing and resetting the pavers ensured a seamless doc­u­men­ta­tion process between the trades­peo­ple and our historic preservationist.”

Eric Dexter

Project Manager