Architectural finishes, materials at Morse CTAPatrick Barry, August 9, 2012
I didn’t really understand the nature of “industrial” finishes and materials until I took a front-row seat for the rehabilitation of the Morse CTA station.
Starting with the rapid and violent demolition of the platform and stationhouse and continuing through the methodical rebuild – often running 24 hours a day in 90-degree heat – I’ve been impressed by the heavy-duty materials and the skills of the tradespeople doing the work.
Here’s what I’ve seen and learned:
Glazed-tile walls – Crews tore out the chipped white-glazed brick on stationhouse walls and columns and replaced it with similar materials. It’s bright, easy to clean and durable. Very nice.
New floor shines after about five days of installation work. (Photo by Patrick Barry)
Terrazzo – That new floor looks almost exactly like the old one and, according to one worker I talked to, “it will last forever.” It’s a super-tough layer cake that started with a new concrete base that was then layered with a cement-and-aggregate mix within metal dividers. The cured surface was ground and polished to a waterproof, easy-to-clean sheen.
Stainless steel – There’s much more of it in the stationhouse, and the stainless handrails in the stairwells are a big improvement over the old carbon-steel versions that could never hold paint. Like terrazzo, it lasts and lasts.
Galvanized steel – Not as attractive as stainless but a lot cheaper, zinc-coated steel doesn’t rust, so it’s the right material for the stairwell covers and platform windshelters. The galvanized structures used on the recent Brown Line rehab have a nice dull-grey patina, though some were marred by sloppy weld joints.
Plastic – I’m not a fan of this material, which turned up at Granville in the form of the small station signs (“G”) on platform columns. I prefer the old enameled-steel versions, which held their shine for many years, even when scratched up by vandals.
Custom formwork shaped a rebuilt column at Lunt. Shotcrete will be sprayed on to smooth adjoining surfaces. (Photo by Patrick Barry)
Cement and concrete – The 90-year-old viaducts were cracked, crumbling and falling down, but crews methodically removed loose material, added new reinforcing bars, built custom formwork to hold new concrete, and sprayed “shot-crete” to create a smooth new surface. Tons of custom pre-cast concrete sections were installed for the new platform and viaduct parapets.
Bricks and mortar – After tuckpointing and acid cleaning, the brown brick at Lunt and Glenwood has a lovely uneven surface and dull sheen. Elsewhere, bricklayers have seamlessly mixed new brick with old to rebuild parapets and weak spots.
All in all, a job well done, and a nice education for this student of the construction arts.comments powered by Disqus