Tile, Stucco and Cast Stone Assessment and Treatment—Miraflores Park—Private

San Antonio, TX

Miraflores Park is one of numerous unique outdoor spaces in the city of San Antonio, Texas. The entrance to this park is heralded by a pair of decorative stucco and cast stone towers which welcome visitors to this urban haven. The towers feature a series of vibrant tile murals which announce, “Hernan Cortes Founded Mexico City, 1521” and “Dr. Aurliano Urrutia Founded This Insitution, 1921,” marking a significant history spanning four centuries. The park also features “Trabajo Rustico” cement sculptures associated with the artist Dionicio Rodriguez, known for working in this medium.

We were contracted to build upon previous studies to assess the current conditions of the towers as part of a multi-phase restoration project of the towers and park environs. The conservation study included an analysis of materials, systems, and conditions as well as photographic documentation and a specific plan of operations detailing recommended means and methods for implementing conservation, stabilization, and/or rehabilitation of these historic structures. Samples of stucco, cast stone, and cement sculpture were collected for off-site laboratory observation and characterization, and to serve as the basis of material matching recommendations. This information will help inform the details of the treatment phase of work to be performed by us beginning in Spring/Summer, 2011. Treatment will include detailed fills and in-painting of ceramic tiles; crack injection and patching of historic stucco surfaces; recasting missing cast stone trim; and electrolytic conservation of the rebar/stucco matrix through re-alkalization.