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Discreet repairs and enhancements for masonry structures.
C&O Canal National Historical Park
Location: Potomac, MD
Age/Built: Circa 1830
Key Topics: Stabilization of Historic Structures, Testing and Analysis, Facade Repair and Attachment, Adaptive Reuse

Project Background:

  •   The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, located along the C&O Canal’s original 184.5 milefootprint, is a United States National Historical Park thathosts over 3 million visitors every year
  • The park was established as a National Monument in1961 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and taken overby the National Park Service in 1971
  •  Lockhouse 22 is a member of the National Register ofHistoric Places and one of the park’s earliest structures
  •  As part of the innovative new Canal Quarters program, park managers undertook efforts to preserve and restoreLockhouse 22 with the goal of renting it nightly to avariety tourists and history enthusiasts
Challenges Presented:
  •  Over its long lifetime, the lockhouse’s façade become unstable to the point of serious concern, with separationbetween the masonry wythes and crumbling mortar
  • Any intervention would need to be in keeping with the Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment ofHistoric Properties/Preservation
Services and Solutions:
  •  Masonry Solutions started by evaluating the façade usingnon-destructive evaluation, allowing the project team tofigure on the most effective course of intervention
  • Large inner voids were uncovered during the course of this evaluation, leading to the determination that injection would be the most appropriate solution
  •  Masonry Solutions laboratory engineers then developed a compatible injection material that was sympathetic tothe host’s particular characteristics
  •  MSI technicians, following a low-pressure injection protocol, safely injected the building’s entire façade
  •  The original deteriorated mortar ,which had little bond or stability, was encapsulated and inner voids were impregnated during the compatible injection, restoringthe original characteristics of the structure
  •  Stainless steel reinforcements were also carefully installed by MSI technicians to provide lateral support
  •  Further NDE demonstrated the solidity of the masonry units and the achievement of all project goals
  •  Close coordination with the National Park Service was maintained throughout the process
  • Following MSI’s intervention, Lockhouse 22 was the first in the Canal Quarters program to host an overnight guest
  • Today the program has been expanded to include several structures and is the recipient of multiple awards