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Conference Center (Building 531). Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania.
This historic building, once completely obscured, was revealed, restored, and renewed.
Built in 1931 as the fuel oil office, this facility changed uses several times over the years. In 2013, the agglomeration of additions was demolished and the original structure was restored. The new design included a lobby, conference room, large seminar space that can be divided, restrooms, pantry/kitchen, storage rooms, and utility space. The wood trim, windows, doors, and roof were restored to the original appearance.
A new ramp was added to the front entrance for accessibility. A welcoming interior was designed to reflect its historical origins as well as accommodate up to three meetings at the same time.
Damaged joists caused by wood-rot and age were repaired. Unique posts were designed to straddle a historic wall to construct a rear dormer for mechanical equipment. New steel beams were installed for a large space that could be sub-divided into two smaller rooms.
Architects worked with the masons to use new and salvaged brick to replicate and match original façade details based on historic photos. The mortar mix was replicated for the repointing, and the façades were carefully cleaned to remove stains.