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October 2017 construction update

As the restoration of Union Terminal enters its 16th month, over 260 workers are spread across the National Historic Landmark’s plaza, rooftops, hallways and galleries. Visible progress of the thorough work is already on display as scaffolding and cranes crawl up and down the building. As this work inches toward the rear of the building, repaired steel, restored brick and crisp mortar lines lie in its wake. Waterproofing of the roof deck of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum continues on the north side of the plaza. Stone and gravel already cover the southern portion, ready for new concrete in preparation for the meticulous rebuild of the fountain. Here’s a look at what else crews are working on this month.

Upcoming Work

  1. After cleaning the lower three rings of the iconic Rotunda, crews are climbing ever higher as they continue the thorough cleaning of the yellow, orange and silver plaster bands all the way to the silver cap that stands 108 feet above the terrazzo floor. 
  2. Masonry work is underway on the south parapet walls that straddle one of the railroad lines in the rear of the building. Masons are exposing the structural steel and lintels behind the exterior brick, cleaning and treating them to prevent future rust. Among the meticulous details of the walls are the chevron-patterned bricks above each window that must be carefully documented to ensure they are accurately rebuilt.
  3. The first of five new hot water boilers are beginning to be connected to electrical, plumbing and distribution systems in preparation of the cooler fall and winter temperatures.
  4. A large 450-ton crane is being assembled onsite to lift new air handling units onto the second level and fourth level rooftops in the rear of the building, part of the building’s mechanical systems upgrade. Each air handling unit arrives in three pieces and is assembled on the rooftop.
  5. A new elevator is being installed in the Museum of Natural History & Science to improve accessibility and guest experience. The elevator pit has already been dug and the rest of the mechanics will follow.

Number to Know: 375 – The tar being used to waterproof the fountain and plaza area is heated to a temperature of 375°. The tar is applied over top a thin fabric sheet, then covered with a plastic liner, insulation board and gravel.

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