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Carew Tower

The parapet walls on the 49th floor Observation Deck at The Carew Tower in Cincinnati where rebuilt by Hart Restoration in 1993. The problem was that the shelf angles (steel that is anchored to the buildings superstructure and supports each floor’s brick) had corroded to a point that the steel dimensionally increased in size by 50%. The brick masonry could not accommodate this movement causing a bulge at the angles on the 48th floor high above the streets below. If this condition had been allowed to continue, the brick would have dislodged and caused obvious problems.

The repair required removing all the brick from the Observation deck and associated parapet to the shelve angle approximately 8 feet below. However, before the veneer could be removed, Hart took in consideration the possible loss of material during the demolition process. Hart’s solution was the installation of netting which was stretched below the work area suspended by aluminum beams to catch the debris. The beams were erected through penetrations which Hart created on the 47th floor and then later filled in.

A further challenge was created because the project was not started till October which meant that the project needed to be done during the Fall and Winter months. Ice and snow were frequent visitors.

Hart started the process of reinstalling the veneer along with new structural steel in the dead of winter. The only change to the original construction was the use of Concrete Masonry Units instead of structural clay tile. When completed few could distinguish between the original and the new outside veneer and parapet walls.


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