Ross Administrative Center

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum , Washington, DC

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum complex consists of a modern exhibition hall (1989-1993) and the Ross Administrative Center (RAC), a brick, limestone and terra cotta building from circa 1905 which houses the museum’s administrative offices and the café.

The RAC suffered from iron staining and cracking on the terra cotta cornice, cracking and spalling of brick in the interior walls of the attic space and other conditions requiring treatment. From 2003-2006, we performed a series of condition assessments, investigative probes, and materials testing at the building to determine the causes of the deterioration and recommend treatment solutions. The terra cotta issues were due to corrosion and expansion of the steel outrigger system supporting the cornice. The potential for spalling and loss of the overhanging terra cotta units presented a serious life/safety concern. Impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) was recommended as a cost effective way to address the corrosion with minimal disturbance to the historic fabric.

In 2005-2006, construction documents were developed for the exterior restoration of the facades, including the installation of ICCP at the cornice, in conjunction with minimal unit replacement, structural stabilization with Cintec anchors, patching of losses and routing and patching of cracks. Cleaning, stain removal, spot repointing, and sealant replacement were also included in the scope. The work was implemented in the Fall-Winter of 2006-2007, and we also provided ongoing conservation consulting and quality assurance for the duration of the restoration.