Terra Cotta Assessment of Ca D'zan

Sarasota, FL

At the request of The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, we performed emergency stabilization and a hands-on condition assessment of all exterior terra cotta units on Ca d’Zan. The aims of the project were to (1) remove or stabilize all units in danger of becoming detached in order to remediate safety concerns; (2) perform probes and non-destructive testing to identify the cause of observed failures in the terra cotta corbels, belvedere elements, and balconies; (3) provide comprehensive baseline documentation of all conditions affecting terra cotta units in the form of condition drawings and high resolution photographs; and (4) provide recommendations and cost estimates for stabilization and treatment of terra cotta units, including major structural interventions in the belvedere and balconies.

We performed the on-site assessment from December 2015 through January 2016. Probes and non-destructive testing were performed by a consulting engineer on various elements in the belvedere and southwest balcony. Stabilization locations included the belvedere, southwest balcony, and cornice of the north and south elevations.

Elevation drawings were marked to indicate the location of specific conditions on the terra cotta units. Units identified as safety hazards were stabilized through the removal of loose spalls, the caulking of cracks, and the strategic placement of nylon netting. We provided in-depth recommendations to stabilize the terra cotta elements in a report. Documentation, cost estimates, and conservation treatment recommendations for non-life-safety issues observed during the assessment were submitted to the client and have been incorporated into planning for the site.