Russell Senate Building

Washington DC

Constructed from 1903 to 1908, the Russell Building is the oldest of the Senate office buildings and a prominent example of Beaux-Arts style. Designed by the New York architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings, the Russell building was a response to overcrowding at the neighboring Capitol building. Upon the 100-year anniversary of the Russell building, the Architect of the Capitol sought to identify elements of the structure that required attention as a result wearing, soiling, or corrosion.

Bronze Conservation Treatment

We were contracted in to address the corrosion and coating loss of both interior and exterior bronze elements at the Russell Senate Office Building, C Street Elevation. This included decorative railings, doors, and windows. The treatment of these bronze architectural features began in March 2017 with the removal of existing coatings and patination, as well as corrosion, which was evident in the build-up of verdigris (copper sulfate). Many of the elements were treated on-site, but the courtyard railings were removed and transferred to a facility in Alexandria, VA, to ensure proper conditions during micro-abrasion, re-patination, and lacquer application.

Marble Laser Cleaning

We also removed the heavy soiling and black sulfate crusts on the carved marble elements of the exterior C Street elevation of the building. This cleaning was achieved through laser ablation. Two (2) CL100FFC 100 watt and one 500 watt Q-switched lasers operating at 1064 nm were used to ablate black sulfate crusts and soiling without damaging the weathered stone substrate. The laser effectively reduced black crusts and soiling on the marble, leaving a substantially cleaned surface.