The elaborate cornice spans the length of the North, South, and East facades of the Renaissance-style Ringling Museum of Art building. Small returns complete the cornice on the South façade but do not extend the length of the structure. The cornice and balustrade were part of architect John H. Phillips’s design that incorporated Renaissance architectural features in the building’s design. The Museum of Art was completed in 1929 and was fully opened to the public in 1946, per John Ringling’s 1936 bequeathment to the people of Florida.
Our conservators worked with The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art to assess the cornices and balustrades and recommend treatments. Onsite assessments were completed by EverGreene staff in November 2017. The assessment determined that a failing waterproofing membrane lead to water infiltration that eroded the soft cast stone and pieces were beginning to crack and fall. We were then contracted to perform the recommended work based on our recommendations. The goal of the treatment was to clean and consolidate the cast stone surfaces, re-point the balusters and cornice mortar joints, and replace the waterproofing system. Work was performed without requiring the museum to close, the pink and gray cast stone medallions and balusters were repaired or replaced with matching new units and the cornice was repointed.