Columbia College Dance Center
Facade Rehabilitation
This four-story Art Deco building, constructed in 1930, now functions as the dance center for Columbia College Chicago. Situated in the vibrant South Loop area of downtown Chicago, the building features a sturdy reinforced concrete and brick structure, accented with limestone cladding.
  • Project Type
    • Restoration
  • Status
  • Delivery Method
    • Lump Sum
  • Services
  • Location
    • Chicago, IL
  • Duration
    • 7 Months
  • Architect
    • Revive Architecture

Project Overview

This four-story Art Deco building was originally built in 1930 and currently serves as the dance center for Columbia College Chicago. It is located in the South Loop area of downtown Chicago and is a reinforced concrete and brick structure clad in limestone. Dark granite wraps the base of the textured gray building with ornamental header and bay pieces. Cast iron spandrels also dot the north and east elevations.

The scope consists of removing and resetting selected limestone pieces on both the north and east elevations. In addition, various pieces had been chosen for the replacement to match the existing limestone. Also included in the scope is patching, caulking, and pinning and epoxying limestone pieces in need of repairs. The parapet walls at the east and north elevations were re-built to match a previous re-build on the southeast corner. Deteriorated steel angles and corner beams at the parapet walls were in need of replacement as well as five reinforced concrete piers.

The scope includes new roofing membrane and flashing along with new window perimeter sealant. The south elevation was ground out, sealed over cracks and painted over.

The painting of the west elevation stairs and doors, lintels on the north and east and the cast-iron spandrels were also included. The stone water table units were cleaned of existing fill and waterproofed. A cracked penthouse window was also replaced.

Project Challenges

Berglund was tasked with transforming the façade of the north and east elevations with 50 feet of curb lane as a lay-down and shakeout area. This area included a dumpster with a chute, two gang boxes, a restroom, 9 palettes of stones at a time and miscellaneous material and equipment. There was no space for a forklift to transport the stones, as both 13thand S. Michigan Street are high traffic areas. To receive stone deliveries, coordination was necessary to ensure the correct stones would arrive in order of how they were to be put in the wall.

Columbia College requested that demolition be completed prior to the beginning of the school year. With just two weeks of cataloging the stones, verifying dimensions and removal, Berglund was under a time crunch that would have been daunting to many. By careful assessment and planning, Berglund was able to complete the demolition with no excessive building disturbance and under schedule.

Due to the close proximity to overhead lines, the grinding and pointing of the west elevation were removed from scope. As a part of a mandatory Berglund project safety meeting, it was not recommended that work was completed there.