Memorial Union at the University of Missouri

Memorial Union at the  University of Missouri

Memorial Union at the University of Missouri

  • Columbia, MO
Project Team
  • Owner: University of Missouri
  • General Contractor: Prost Builders
  • Masonry Contractor: PULLMAN
  • Engineer Of Record: International Architects Atelier

The University of Missouri, better known as Mizzou, was founded in 1839 and was the first and largest public university west of the Mississippi River. The Memorial Union was designed in 1922 and holds a strong historical influence as a monument to those who gave their lives in the World War. The names of 117 men who gave their lives are inscribed inside the main tower’s archway. It’s the second most photographed landmark at Mizzou and nearly all of the original stonework is still in place.

Due to the building’s age and historical influence, the Memorial Union’s façade needed to be restored and will continue to have these improvements every 20 years. With the college’s 110th anniversary taking place, campus curators wanted to ensure that the building was looking its best for the year. PULLMAN was selected to complete the project by providing masonry restoration expertise after being prequalified as an approved masonry contractor.

The general scope of work included raking, repointing, and cleaning the North Wing and Main Tower. The restoration included removing and replacing damaged lintels above all windows on the North Wing, raking and repointing various locations on the North Wing, Main Tower, and smaller towers, restoring and patching damaged finials, pinnacles, coping stones, and crockets, various crack injections, and flashing installation under the North and South Wing coping stones.

Having been constructed during the COVID-19 pandemic, material shortages were ongoing, and the team had to follow strict CDC guidelines with being on an active campus. During the summer months, heat exposure was a major safety concern. PULLMAN had a designated crew to supply water to the team at all times and fetched tools and equipment so they wouldn’t have to leave their work area. Quality of work was especially crucial due to the building’s historic structure, which added to the challenges of the project. Each mason had to be pre-approved by the architect prior to performing any masonry restoration work. This approval process involved exhibiting competent skills in raking, repointing, cleaning, and crack injection among other restoration skills. The project team also had close coordination with Prost Builders and the University to keep students safe by providing protection and sequencing of work while not impacting normal campus operations.

This project brought together employees from our various PULLMAN branches, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. The restoration was completed with great quality and with no jobsite injuries. PULLMAN’s work will add years to the preservation of this historic structure.