Architect: Interactive Design, Inc.
Owner: Chicago Public Schools
Value of project: $370,000
Time frame: 6 months
Portage Park Elementary School, an historic school in a tree-lined neighborhood, had fallen victim to decades of air pollution, harsh weather and graffiti. Restore Masonry was called on to restore the school to its former grandeur. Restoration began with the grinding out and re-pointing of all mortar joints. The walls were then rinsed and chemically cleaned of all contamination and graffiti, revealing handsome brick work and decorative features along the top of the school's walls. The ornamental porticos were then reconstructed; a technically demanding job involving gigantic made-to-order limestone units weighing up to two tons. The 125-foot tall chimney stack was repaired and restored. Despite the precision and care required, the project was completed in only six months. The Portage Park Elementary School now has a new lease on life and has regained its landmark status. This Restore Masonry project received two prestigious awards: A first place award from the Illinois Indiana Masonry Council and a second place international award from the Mason Contractor's Association of America.