Vertical Access Top 10 of 2010: Project 4 – Boston College Burns Library Turret Investigation

Turret at top of Burns Library Tower, June 2010

In June 2010, Vertical Access conducted an investigation of the colonettes and free-standing pinnacles at the turrets at the top of Boston College’s Burns Library Tower. This was a follow-up inspection to VA’s original investigation of the the Burns Library Tower completed in July 2007. At the time of the original inspection, vertical cracks were observed and documented on some of the projecting architectural limestone elements that adorn the tower, including the colonettes and free-standing pinnacles. As part of the recent investigation, cracks and spalls caused by the ongoing corrosion of the original mild steel dowels and more recent anchors were documented.

Burns Library Tower, during Vertical Access’ 2007 investigation

This project highlights Boston College’s proactive approach to the repair of their historic buildings. Although a restoration project was not planned for Burns Library, Boston College commissioned a comprehensive hands-on investigation of the building, with a follow-up inspection at an appropriate time. The project also highlights VA’s continued involvement with the preservation work undertaken by Boston College and led by architect Wendall Kalsow of McGinley Kalsow & Associates and conservator Ivan Myjer of Building and Monument Conservation. Vertical Access partner Evan Kopelson will present with Wendall and Ivan a paper entitled “Architectural Preservation at Boston College Campus: A Systematic Approach” at the International Facility Management Association Facility Fusion 2011 conference. The presentation will focus on the work completed at Gasson Hall and how this project fits into Boston College’s ongoing preservation efforts at the historic central campus area.

Read about Project 1: Union Theological Seminary Brown Tower
Read about Project 2: University of Buffalo Alumni Arena
Read about Project 3: United States Capitol Dome