Denver’s Civic Center Park Named 2011 Masonry Construction Project of the Year
DENVER -- Tuesday, December 27, 2011 -- Denver’s Civic Center Park was honored this month by being named Hanley Wood’s Masonry Construction Magazine Masonry Construction Project of 2011. Approved by Denver voters in 2007, the $9.5 million dollars of Better Denver Bond funding enabled restoration of Civic Center’s historic Greek Theater, Voorhies Memorial, balustrade wall and Broadway Terrace. Thanks to the hard work of masonry contractor Building Restoration Specialties Inc. (BRS) and many others, Civic Center Park was removed from Colorado Preservation Inc.’s Endangered Places list in 2011, solidifying the park’s status as an enduring icon of Denver’s rich history.
“The honor of this prestigious award goes out to not only the many contractors, architects and engineers associated with the project but also the citizens of Denver,” said Lauri Dannemiller, Manager of Denver Parks and Recreation. “For without their support through the Better Denver Bond program, this project would not have been possible. We all share in this recognition and Civic Center Park will benefit from our investment for years to come.”
BRS paid attention to the finest details, preserving and reusing as much original stone and masonry as possible and searching the nation to find suitable substitutes for what could not be saved. In the Greek Theater, they retained the herringbone design created by existing maroon, red and brown bricks. They saw-cut around each paver and carefully hand-chiseled them to avoid breakage, cleaned them and numbered them each by location so they could be reinstalled in the proper pattern.
“Denver Parks and Recreation stewarded this voter-approved restoration beautifully, assembling an incredible team of expert contractors and suppliers capable of restoring Civic Center’s historic structures to their original grandeur,” said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, executive director of the nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy. “National recognition of this project is icing on the cake – affirming the importance, complexity and success of Civic Center’s restoration in a national context.”
The original rail and balusters were carved of beautifully veined sandstone from the now-closed Turkey Creek quarry near Ft. Carson, Colorado. In restoring the balustrade, BRS felt replacing sandstone with sandstone was important to help maintain the integrity of the original mason work. As such, BRS searched salvage yards to find sandstone from the original Turkey Creek quarry or stone that matched the composition and properties of the original materials used.
The columns of the Voorhies Memorial at the north end of the park were stained by water runoff, graffiti and etching from power washing equipment. BRS was meticulous in selecting the most effective cleaning solutions and in some cases they carefully resurfaced the stone to release old stains, remove graffiti and provide a clean, fresh face to the structure.
“Once again, MASONRY CONSTRUCTION’S Project of the Year winner, as well as all of the other winners and entries, displayed the masonry industry’s ability to not only show what a beautiful construction method masonry is, but also how the material solves real-live construction problems and issues,” said Editor Tom Bagsarian. “It also is worth noting that 3,420 votes were tallied in our popular Readers’ Choice Award voting.”
MASONRY CONSTRUCTION’S Project of the Year exemplifies masonry contractors’ contributions, including helping architects and engineers create the best masonry has to offer; exceptional problem solving and teamwork; painstaking restoration and repair work; and environmentally friendly construction.
This project was led by Denver Parks and Recreation Project Manager Mark Bernstein who worked with several contractors to bring this historic renovation to fruition. Other contractors to be acknowledged are:
• Architect/Designer: Nan Anderson, Anderson Hallas Architects, PC
• Structural Engineer: Dave Houdeshell, JVA Inc.
• General Contractor: Tom Cella, Spectrum Contractors
• Masonry Contractor: Rhonda Maas, Building Restoration Specialties, Inc.
• Masonry Supplier: Eldon Strid, Strid Marble and Granite Company
• Masonry Supplier: Rich Vigil, Jones Heartz Lime Company, Inc
• Masonry Supplier: Jon Little, Summit Brick Company
• Landscape Architect: Tina Bishop, Mundus Bishop Design Inc.
• Other: Gerhard Petri, SlaterPaull Architects
• Other: Ralph Mendoza, Mendoza's Used Brick
• Other: Mark Stutz, General Shale Brick
Denver Parks + Recreation (DPR) facilities are unrivaled in the Rocky Mountain West. The DPR system spans over a 138-year history from the first park created in 1868 to nearly 15,000 acres of urban parks and mountain parkland today. It embraces nearly 3,000 acres of “traditional” parks and parkways, 2,500 urban natural acres and close to 8,000 acres of urban forest within the city alone.
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