When the Emerick team began the Hallock & McMillan project, they knew the work would be extensive. It would require a team of experts to restore the building to its original glory, starting with the recreation of the cast iron facade. “This is a story about reconstructing a building’s face and place in history while staying true to its innovative past,” said Brian Emerick, Principal at Emerick Architects. Rebuilding the Hallock & McMillan building’s original facade is a painstaking but important process.
How do you recreate a historically accurate representation of an 1857 building in 2019? Using the same methods and materials from when it was built.
In order to create replicas of the cast iron pieces, the originals are removed from the building, sketched by hand, and made into carved wooden pieces by Architectural Castings. Architectural Castings specializes in history masonry reproductions, and is one of the few companies in the country that do so. Once they’ve produced the wood-carved replicas, they’re then pressed into sand, which hardens around the wood pieces to create moldings. The Silverton Foundry uses the moldings for the next step in the reconstruction process.
At The Silverton Foundry, furnaces are heated to a whopping 2800°F. Scrap metal is tossed into the furnace, creating hot liquid iron that’s then poured into the sand moldings. Once cooled, the moldings open to reveal exact replicas of the facade pieces. The process is time-consuming, but is a worthwhile cost for design accuracy.