Completed in 1914, the Beaux Arts/Neo-Classical style John R. Park Building originally housed the library, art museum, and administrative functions at the young and growing University of Utah.
Ineffective original detailing and construction of the ornamental terra cotta had resulted in significant rusting of supporting reinforcement with major cracking and deterioration creating a serious hazard. Roofing, flashing and other water drainage elements were also problematic. The soft oolitic limestone from Sanpete County had deteriorated from poor water management and attack from atmospheric pollution. Most importantly, an increased understanding of earthquake danger along the Wasatch Fault with the deficiencies of early building structures and under-reinforced masonry cladding dictated a seismic upgrade. A measured response now provides basic life safety and better protects this important renovated historic building.
MJSA investigated the exterior condition of the Park Building and guided an incremental seismic upgrade of the central pavilion area, roof, attic, and exterior walls, focusing on building entries. This structural work greatly increases the seismic capacity of the building as well as prepares it for a future interior structural upgrade. Comprehensive restoration planning addressed repair, proper reinforcement, and partial replacement of the terra cotta, completing a full restoration of this system. Full re-roofing using a copper-clad membrane system with copper flashing and drainage upgrades corrected water management problems. Stone anchoring, repair and restoration were fully detailed along with substantial window repairs and upgrades. The restoration work was carefully planned to address the building’s preservation needs while minimizing disruption to the building’s occupants who mostly remained in place during the restoration.