University of Pittsburgh Medical Center | Facade Restoration - Center for Innovative Science

Pittsburgh, PA

In the earlier 1900’s Ford Motor Company recognized the need to deliver across the United States, quality vehicles to address the growing demand for the automobile. To control quality and reduce the cost of shipping and shipping damages, the company constructed regional assembly plants. In 1917, the Ford Motor Company built its 8 story, Pittsburgh assembly plant on Baum Boulevard. Baum during the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s became known as “Auto Row”, but over the past several decades the building changed hands several times and fell into disrepair. The present owner, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has a long term goal of developing the property as research laboratories in support of their nearby Cancer Research Facility. UPMC retained CFB to evaluate the exterior façade and roof to stop water from damaging the structure and to restore the historic fabric and facades on Morewood and Baum Boulevards.

The first step in repositioning the property was erecting scaffolding and netting to protect pedestrians and to allow access to the upper cornice for evaluation of the terra cotta. Portions of the cornice were removed to evaluate the structural integrity of the original strap ties and metal reinforcing. Strategies were developed for terra cotta and brick repairs, existing roof repairs and window replacement. Photo murals depicting the auto industry’s past will be installed at street level until the building is ready for occupancy.

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