As the changing of leaves signal the arrival of cooler fall air, work continues on Union Terminal’s iconic fountain and plaza area and masons are beginning work in the rear of the building, including over the train tracks that pass underneath the building. Mechanical engineers are working to connect five new boilers and 23 air handling units before winter. And inside the Museum of Natural History & Science, preservation architects have begun cleaning the historic terracotta tile walls. Here’s a look at what else you can expect this month.
- With roughly two-thirds of the plaza area removed and the fountain itself completely removed, crews are working to complete the remaining demolition of any existing concrete to expose the roof deck below. Elsewhere on the plaza, where the roof deck has already been exposed and has had the old waterproofing removed, new waterproofing is in the process of being applied to prevent future water penetration into the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and Dalton Street tunnel below. Once the waterproofing is complete, the plaza structures and fountain will be rebuilt to their original specifications.
- Masons crews are beginning to remove limestone and the red backup brick on the rear of the building’s face to expose, clean and treat structural steel.
- The parapet walls on Union Terminal’s rear flat roofs are being repaired. Original terracotta tiles that form the wall caps are being replaced with larger tiles, reducing the number of masonry joints and the opportunity for water penetration. Original copper flashing on the walls, coated in patina from years of oxidation, is also being replaced, further protecting the integrity of the wall from water damage.
- New rooftop air handling units are being installed on the rear flat roofs, part of an overall mechanical upgrade that will make the building more efficient to operate. These units will soon be connected to the newly-installed HVAC system, which includes five new boilers.
- Masonry and structural work continues in the Dalton Street tunnel, necessitating a temporary road closure.
Number to know: 120,000 – Union Terminal’s fountain and plaza area covers 120,000 square feet, more than two football fields. Portions of the plaza form the roof to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and straddle the Dalton Street tunnel.
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