By James V. Banta, Technical Preservation Specialist/Project Manager
Chambers, Murphy & Burge Historical Architecture
Last year, Chambers, Murphy & Burge (CMB) performed a Conditions Assessment of the First National Bank building in Youngstown, Ohio. The 1929 building is among a group of seven early 20th-century office buildings in downtown Youngstown listed in the National Register of Historic Places. First National Bank was designed by Youngstown Architect Morris W. Scheibel and was originally known as the Metropolitan Savings and Loan Co. Building or Central Tower. This 18-story, art deco skyscraper has a high degree of historic integrity and typical of its time, was constructed with structural steel framing that supports its exterior masonry.
The west elevation includes four major exterior corners due to the north- and south-facing return walls at the center window bays. CMB utilized TPAS® to identify corners with serious vertical crack systems caused by corrosion of underlying steel columns and cyclical thermal expansion and contraction. During the course of the investigation, CMB noted that brick cracks previously treated superficially with sealant have failed because the underlying conditions and mechanisms of deterioration had not been addressed. Using TPAS CMB was able to clearly illustrate to the owner the extent of such deterioration and make recommendations for long-term repairs.