Track 3: DELIVERY – INTERVENING INTO HISTORIC PLACES / Volet 3 : Réalisation – Intervenir dans les lieux historiques

The Restoration of St Patrick’s Cathedral: Designating and Tracking Thousands of Changing Repairs from Design Through Construction

Friday, October 13
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, built between 1858 and 1888, occupies an entire city
block in densely populated midtown Manhattan. Although established methods of
testing, cleaning and conservation treatments were implemented, the shear size
and ornate nature of the active Cathedral complex posed many challenges.
Despite the different means of access that were necessary to survey the
Cathedral, hands-on access was not possible to many parts of the building and
assumptions about conditions had to made. Also, the survey work took place
concurrently with the creation of the base drawings. Many of the conditions were
entered on photographs that were taken just prior to the survey. Provisions were
therefore necessary to allow changes to be tracked once the base drawings were
completed and hands-on access to the building became available.

This presentation describes the method of administering the tremendous
amounts of continuously changing data among the many project team members
and during multiple construction phases.

The restoration work was the first comprehensive interior and exterior restoration
of the Cathedral in over seventy years. The project included the restoration and
conservation of the Cathedral as well as the exterior of the Rectory and
Cardinal’s residence. The materials that were restored included several types of
exterior stones, ornamental sheet metal, slate and metal roofs, stained glass and
wood and bronze doors as well as interior stone, plaster, Béton Coignet and
wood features.

The team used Bim360-Field, a web-based software, to track repairs. Different
colored pins represented the different status of each of the repairs. With this
system, the AutoCAD drawings and specifications were loaded onto iPads and
conservators updated treatment information directly into the file in the field as
they performed inspections and monitored progress. Once the iPads were
synced with the cloud, the project team members had access to information to
track work progress and assess schedule impact. The synced data was then
exported to Microsoft Access or Excel to keep track of the repairs, including if
they were new or modified, their state of completion and cost implications. In
addition, it allowed project team members, including the contractors, to locate the
repairs and access attributes that showed information about the repair, such as
photographs and the status of the repairs. This paper will describe the
modifications that the project team made to the program during the course of the
work, to better suit the specific needs of this fast-paced, complicated project. The
positive and negative aspects of the system, in comparison with other means of
tracking large amounts of data on a construction project, will be briefly discussed.

This project exemplifies the use of cutting edge technology combined with basic
good practice to protect, conserve and restore a National Historic Landmark.

Learning Objectives:

Ricardo J. Viera, Master of Science in Historic Preservation and Masters of Architecture

Director, Field Services
Building Conservation Associates, Inc

Ricardo Viera has a Master of Science degree from the Graduate School of
Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and a Master of
Architecture degree from the University of Florida.
He is Director of Field Services for Building Conservation Associates. Mr. Viera
has overseen many conservation and historic preservation consulting projects
during his 27-year tenure at BCA.
Mr. Viera was the Project Manager for the restoration of the American Embassy
in Madrid, Spain; the restoration of the Traveler’s Insurance Tower in Hartford,
Connecticut, the Yale University Art Galleries, and currently for Pier 57 and
Moynihan Station in New York City.


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The Restoration of St Patrick’s Cathedral: Designating and Tracking Thousands of Changing Repairs from Design Through Construction

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