Senator Hotel Office Building
Located in Sacramento, CA the Senator Hotel Office Building is an 8-story structure across from the State Capitol. Originally opened as a hotel in 1924, the Senator Hotel received acclaim for its social functions and high-profile guests throughout history. Shortly after being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel closed in 1979. In 1983, it reopened as an office building for lobbyists and California State government officials.
Over time, the cement plaster facade, wood windows, sheet metal cornice, and decorative precast concrete elements began to experience substantial deterioration. In addition, the tenants reported water infiltration from both the window assemblies and the facade.
The building was purchased by a new Owner, who wanted it restored to its original condition. In order to rehabilitate and repair the building, the concrete substrate, exterior cement plaster, ornamental precast elements, historic wood window assemblies, and the historic redwood flagpoles, as well as recoat all exterior façade elements needed to be restored.
PULLMAN was engaged in the early design phase of this adaptive reuse project by providing budget support and value-engineered repair options.
Both the Engineer of Record and PULLMAN were selected for the project because of their expertise with historic structures. Given its significance, the team worked through numerous iterations to finalize a scope that would both maintain the historical integrity of the structure, while staying within the Owner’s budget. Given the variety of historical features, numerous mock-ups were performed to ensure the repairs would accurately replicate the original design and aesthetic qualities of the structure.
The facade repairs were performed via swing stage and 18 total drops were needed to encompass the entire area. Safety precautions and pedestrian protections were implemented to ensure no incidents occurred on the busy streets below. The crew installed protection at the Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) roof, scaffolding at the rooftop flagpoles, protection in the interior spaces to facilitate transporting materials, and temporary plywood protections in the window openings. To minimize impact on surrounding areas of the façade, the team performed the demolition with small electric hammers and drills.
The scope of work included restoring 520 wood windows and two 20’ wooden flagpoles. The crew removed the sashes from the window frames for refurbishment at PULLMAN’s woodshop. This included removing the existing paint, replacing damaged glazing and glass, epoxy consolidation and repairing deteriorated wood, and installing new weather-stripping to increase the thermal performance. Similar repairs were made to the wood window frames onsite, which included dutchman repairs at select locations. Additional scope included repairing 5,000 square feet (SF) of cement plaster that was scored to mimic the appearance of stone cladding, removing and replacing 20 pieces of precast concrete decorative pediment elements, placing 900 linear feet (LF) of epoxy injection to the remaining pediment pieces, and repairing 9,000 LF of cement plaster cracks. The team also removed and replaced a 300 LF precast concrete water table, repaired 130 SF of the decorative sheet metal cornice, removed 170 decorative precast concrete anthemia and replaced them with fiberglass replicas. The final step included painting all surfaces including windows, doors, facade, cornice, and flagpoles, and installing urethane waterproof coatings.
The team faced several challenges and encountered numerous unforeseen conditions throughout the restoration. The building was occupied during construction, so the crew had to work closely with building management to plan the schedule and minimize disruptions to the tenants. Another challenge posed on the project was the existing paint on the building contained lead. The team overcame this challenge by implementing the PULLMAN’s lead program, designed to monitor lead exposure, mitigate any lead hazards, and ensure the safety of the crew, the tenants, and the public.
After more than 21,000 manhours, the project was completed on time. The team was able to solve the water infiltration issues while retaining and replicating the historical fabric and features of the building. The final product was inspected and approved by the Architect, Construction Manager, and city representatives to ensure the historical details were maintained. The building owner and tenants were pleased with the results and felt that their needs were met during construction.