Graciano is one of the country’s best-known historic masonry restoration firms. We have extended the lifespan of hundreds of historic structures, allowing numerous organizations to continue using their architecturally significant buildings.
Graciano Corporation is experienced in all facets of historic restoration – from structural stabilization to aesthetic rehabilitation – and maintains one of the largest and most skilled historic restoration workforces in the industry. We are frequently recognized by building owners and preservation organizations for the excellence of our craftsmanship and our adherence to the strict Historic Landmark guidelines that govern historic restoration projects.
Historic Masonry Services Offered
Over time, moisture, pollution and exposure to the elements can compromise the structural integrity and appearance of a building. In addition, as some building materials age, they tend to become brittle, susceptible to cracking, spalling or oxidation, or prone to disintegration. Alone or in combination, these factors may ultimately threaten the structural stability and usefulness of the building. Graciano offers a complete range of historic masonry restoration services that renew the appearance of buildings and protect them from further deterioration.
- Waterproofing It’s important to waterproof concrete structures to keep moisture out of the facility and to protect the structural components of concrete and imbedded reinforcing steel. If the integrity of the concrete is maintained, it can remain waterproof. Polyurethane is considered one of the best waterproofing materials. It can be applied seamlessly and penetrates the surface deeply and evenly. The polyurethane membrane will fill in even the finest cracks in concrete, reducing its water absorbency capacity. Many types of waterproofing systems can be used depending on your home’s structure
- Urethane Foam or Epoxy Injection Urethane Foam or epoxy injection is a cost-effective and permanent way to stabilize and seal cracked or compromised masonry surfaces. Depending on the size of the crack, urethane foam or epoxy is injected into the void and allowed to cure. Once hardened, these materials help form a stable subsurface to support masonry restoration operations.
- Tuck Pointing Tuck pointing entails removing loose or cracked mortar from brickwork or stone installations and replacing its new mortar to ensure structural integrity and to seal out damaging water and moisture. Mortar for tuck pointing must be carefully selected to ensure that its color and texture of the new mortar closely matches the existing material that was not compromised and did not need to be removed.
- Terra Cotta Replacement and Repair Terra cotta is a building material that is cast from clay and then glazed. Terra cotta components add great color and detail to a building, but are also highly susceptible to cracking and damage from impacts or freeze and thaw cycles. In many cases, damaged terra cotta sections must be removed and replaced with new materials to prevent water infiltration and structural damage. Replacement components must be created to replicate the design of the original piece, as well as the coloration that is acquired as the surrounding pieces age. Frequently, it is necessary to repair and stabilize the structural underpinnings that support a terra cotta installation, as corroded pins or structural supports can cause further damage as time passes. In cases where a terra cotta component has sustained minor damage, it is often possible to perform repairs on the piece without removing the compromised element from its installation.
- Masonry Cleaning Masonry cleaning entails the removal of dirt, debris, paint, and graffiti from various surfaces of masonry structures. Commonly used masonry cleaning techniques include high and low – pressure washing and chemical cleaning. Regardless of the method used, special care is taken to avoid over cleaning – and possibly damaging – aging masonry surfaces.
- Caulking Caulking is used to seal gaps between masonry surfaces, such as brick or stone, and other architectural elements, including window and door frames, decorative hardware or lighting fixtures. Caulking is most often applied with a gun, and is available in butyl, latex or customized formulations. The color of caulk is selected to match the surfaces surrounding the application site. When applied, the caulking gun is inserted in the gap to be filled. Caulking material is then injected into the void to seal the opening.
- Abrasive Cleaning Heavily soiled masonry surfaces may require abrasive cleaning to effectively remove deposits of grime, paint or graffiti. Abrasive cleaning typically involves high–pressure application of sand or another type of inert, abrasive material directly to the masonry surface. When the abrasive cleaning has been completed, the masonry surface is frequently rinsed with low-pressure water to remove any remaining dirt or cleaning materials.
Two Mellon Center
Two Mellon Center, is one of Pittsburgh’s most stunning landmarks. An imposing Flemish-Gothic style limestone structure, the building occupies a full city block and features a sixty-five-feet high mansard roof pitched at a 17° angle. Each elevation features 38 dormers of varying size that are positioned in three uniform tiers spreading across surfaces of the mansards. Graciano completed a full-scale restoration of the building including a comprehensive system to stop the water infiltration that had plagued the structure since its original construction in 1919. Learn more
Staple Bend Tunnel
Completed 1833, the Staple Bend Tunnel was the first railroad tunnel, and the third tunnel of any kind, in the United States. Located about four miles east of Johnstown, PA, the tunnel is part of the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. Following strict Historic Landmark guidelines, Graciano restored the arched sandstone liners at each portal. Interior improvements included resetting of stone, as well as grout injection into mortar joints of the stone liner. Learn more
Graciano was selected to revitalize this well-known part of the New York City skyline. Built during the Depression (1929), Rockefeller Center is actually a complex of a dozen buildings. Rockefeller Center, constructed in Indiana limestone, a beautiful building material noted for its durability and fire resistance. Graciano performed historic restoration and exterior cleaning, of over 2,500,000 sq. ft. of building facade. Much of the work was done at night to avoid interrupting commerce at the busy site. Learn more
The oldest business in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal has welcomed New Yorkers, tourists and travelers since 1913. The Oyster Bar’s iconic Guastavino tile arches and vaults were restored by Graciano, specialists in Guastavino tile restoration. 1,300 square feet of terra cotta tile were removed and reset or replaced with newly fabricated, architecturally correct tile above dining rooms, lunch counter and bar. Learn more
Built as the Main Street Passenger Railroad Station in 1901, Richmond Virginia’s Main Street Station has stood as a fine example of Beaux Arts architecture for more than a century. Graciano was responsible for reversing years of decay and damage to the structure’s masonry and terra cotta surfaces. The brickwork required extensive repointing, cracked terra cotta had to be removed and replaced, balustrades required reconstruction and deteriorated stonework had to be replaced. It was imperative that original finishes be replicated and matched as accurately as possible. Learn more
Eaton’s Neck Lighthouse
Eaton’s Neck Lighthouse is a brownstone lighthouse that’s been standing in a harsh and exposed environment for almost two and a quarter centuries on Huntington Bay and Long Island Sound, New York. The lighthouse was built in 1799, electrified in 1921. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and its site is a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) station. Learn more
Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art, opened to the public in 1916. The original building, made of white Georgia marble, still stands as an excellent example of neoclassic design. Graciano cleaned the entire building, pointed, replaced marble, patched, installed dutchman, restored bronze work, installed storm windows and bird netting, and installed lead caps on all architectural features that protrude skyward, such as water tables, cornices and drip edges. Learn more
Brooklyn Academy of Music Opera House
The oldest performing arts center in America, the 100-year-old structure features a façade that incorporates extraordinary decorative detail in brick, polychrome terra cotta, granite and marble. Graciano performed significant rehabilitation of the masonry, terra cotta, stone and metal trim features on the building’s facades was also necessary to stabilize compromised brickwork, as well as replicate and reinstall missing stone elements that had been removed over the years. Learn more
Belvedere Castle Central Park
Central Park Conservancy asked Graciano Corporation to restore Belvedere Castle from bedrock to rooftops — updating mechanicals and utilities and adding a state-of-the-art geothermal system, while preserving the castle’s historic charm. In this turnkey restoration project, the Graciano project management team oversaw the entire scope of work — not just the usual artistic historic restoration, but mechanical, utilities and interior construction as well. Learn more