Dating back to 1865 this building was originally designed by William G Murray as a warehouse for a local merchant called Patrick Beakey. It was subsequently used as a cinema (“The Mero”) between 1915-1959 and then purchased by PMPA and used for offices. It’s current owners are AXA Insurance.
Following the severe winters of 2009 & 2010 the building exhibited signs of deterioration. Oldstone were engaged by Bracegrade to remove the existing paint from the building façade and, having successfully completed these works, Oldstone were retained to undertake the façade repairs.
The existing building had multiple layers of paint applied all of which had to be sympathetically removed whilst ensuring the underlying substrate was not damaged during this process. The system used involved the use of mild paint softeners and the DOFF steam system.
The paint removal exposed a number of façade elements that required repair. One of these was the modillions at aparapet level. Due to their fractured condition all the existing modillions had to be replaced with replicas to a matching detail.
Other building elements that required repair and/or replacement were the friezes, rosettes, crests and other decorative stucco works. Depending on their condition repairs were undertaken using restoration mortars or where beyond repair the items were replaced.
A large crack existed on the north façade requiring the rebuilding of a masonry arch. This required temprorary propping whilst the masonry arch was taken down and rebuilt.
Historic records showed that one parapet corner had been removed during prior alterations. The Client requested this section be reinstated which involved the installation of a steel frame lattice to support a moulded replica that matched the original detail.
A false and ornate moulded arch existed on the Mary Street elevation and, due to the presence of iron armature that was rusting, the arch details had to be recorded and a new arch recreated and installed.
Structural repairs (Helifix) were undertaken on the Mary Street elevation that provided additional lateral support through the installation of BowTies BowTies with vertical cracks being stitched using Helibars.