205 West Wacker Drive Building
This office tower was built in the 1920s and is located at Wacker Drive and Wells Street in Chicago. The 23-story structure basically consists of an iron superstructure frame with a terra cotta and brick masonry façade. DESMAN was retained to visually inspect and evaluate the terra cotta façade and develop a repair program for building management.
The inspections included: visual observations from selected swing drops, sounding of terra cotta and brick masonry, inspection openings, and visual inspections by means of high-powered binoculars. Deterioration of the brick and terra cotta, as well as corrosion of the underlying steel supports, was identified throughout the façade. Severe deterioration of the masonry parapets due to deficient flashing, open mortar and sealant joints, and deferred maintenance procedures required reconstruction of the parapets to prevent masonry failure. Additionally, the brick masonry piers had extensive damage from failed joints and corroded steel relief angles. Priority-One repairs were completed to secure unstable masonry and remove any loose terra cotta.