The Delaware Court building was demolished last year but its ornate façade has been replicated and is returning to the base of 250 Delaware, Uniland Development Company’s mixed-use complex at Delaware and W. Chippewa streets. Boston Valley Terra Cotta has replicated the circa-1917 building’s façade for incorporation into the new building. The first pieces have been installed along W. Chippewa Street and are shrouded by plastic-covered scaffolding.
To ensure an accurate recreation of the facade, Foit Albert Associates did a point cloud scan of the building before Delaware Court was demolished. Numerous pieces of the façade were also salvaged and scanned off-site. The result was a digital 3D model that was used for coordination between designers Diamond Schmitt Architects and HHL Architects, engineer, and manufacturer (see previous post on the design process).
Based on the 3D model, individual units that make up the facade were further refined based on manufacturing processes and anchoring requirements. According to Boston Valley, the precise geometry of each piece is created by machine, and the handcrafted detail is added by skilled artisans. The plaster model is milled and additional clay is then sculpted onto this plaster base by the artists in the shop.
A white satin glaze has been placed on the terra cotta blocks, Delaware Court’s original finish. The demolished building’s facade had been repaired and painted numerous times leaving it a light parchment color (below). The white pieces are stunning both inside and outside of the shipping crates.
The craftsmen from Morris Masonry are installing the new terra cotta that covers the two-story ground floor of the complex. It cost approximately $1 million to design and manufacture the new pieces and about $650,000 to install.
The ground floor “historical section” includes 4,419 individual pieces.
Floors with hotel rooms, levels two through five, and the parking ramp, will have terra cotta louver screening. Installation of the 4,917 screening pieces (Boston Valley calls them baquettes) and 1,250 sq.ft. of TerraClad panels at the entryways has not started.
Boston Valley Terra Cotta has become one of the leading manufacturers of architectural terra cotta in the country with over 150 employees at its 170,000 sq.ft. facility on S. Abbott Road in Orchard Park.