**Winner – Irish Georgian Society Conservation Project 2014**
The Blackrock Further Education Institute consists of three former buildings: The Blackrock Town Hall, Carnegie Library and the VEC Building. The earliest building is the Town Hall dating back to 1865 however the most ornate of the facades is the Carnegie Library.
The buildings were converted to educational use and Oldstone were engaged as specialist contractor to repair and restore the original building façade to its former glory.
Façade – Cleaning
The facades to all three buildings were cleaned using the DOFF steam cleaner. Stubborn carbon staining underneath the window cills were successfully removed through the careful use of cleaning chemicals (Limestone Prewash & Afterwash).
Chimneys – Repair & Reconstruction
There were 12 chimneys on the three buildings and works varied from minor repairs to full reconsuction to match the existing decorative details. All repair materials had to carefully reproduced to ensure the colour and texture closely matched the existing. The cappings were covered in lead that involved lead welding.
Carnegie – Balustrade
Works involved taking down the existing balustrade capping, forming new matching balusters to replace the existing, repairing the balustrade capping and reinstating.
Carnegie – Roundel & Cartouche:
The highly decorative cartouche and roundel consists was spalling due to corrosion of the iron fixings. Prior to its removal the decorative plasterwork was meticulously recorded and pattern templates formed. Only One side was taken down at a time using the other side as a reference and the original plasterwork pieces were also retained and used for reference. The decorative patterns were reformed by hand using colour matched lime render and stainless steel fixings.
Other decorative features on the building façade were replicated in a smilar manner including the swag & drop panels below the balustrade.
Carnegie – Decorative Elements
The remainder of the Carnegie Façade had a number of decorative elements such ionic capitals, curved window hoods, window brackets, cill brackets etc. All of these elements were carefully reproduced on site by Oldstone Conservation using a colour matched repair mortar.
Blackrock Town Hall & VEC Building
Although not as ornamentally detailed both these buildings were restored in a similar manner to the Carnegie Building. They differed only by the presence of cast iron brackets at eaves level which were blast cleaned and repainted. Oldstone Conservation also restored the clock back to working order.