FT. DUQUESNE & SIXTH PARKING GARAGE
Complete Façade and Garage Renovation
DESMAN served as Structural Engineer of Record and Architect of Record for the complete façade and garage renovation of this six-level, 1,000 car garage that was built in two phases with two distinct façade systems.
Prominently standing for over a half a century in the core of the City of Pittsburgh’s Downtown Business District, the Ft. Duquesne & Sixth Parking Garage is an iconic structure exemplifying mid-20th Century Architecture popularized throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Due to its centralized location, the Parking Garage is intimately tied to the vibrant downtown Cultural District as well as the North Shore Neighborhood Sports Arenas and Entertainment District, which is a short walk across the Allegheny River via the historic Roberto Clemente Bridge. It is a defining symbol of the City’s skyline and is easily identifiable from various trails/walkways along the Allegheny River. Not only does the outward appearance of the Parking Garage reflect the mid-20th Century Architecture but it also exemplifies a tie to the historical and prolific industrial age that forged, shaped and, influenced the City as a whole. This type of architecture defines and characterizes a distinct period of American History and, unfortunately, has nearly disappeared as a result of more progressive development.
The Ft. Duquesne & Sixth Parking Garage provides over 1,000 parking spaces on six levels and is over 320,000 sf. The Parking Garage was built in two phases. The first phase in approximately 1957 and the second phase, a horizontal expansion, was built in approximately 1967.
Due to years of neglect and lack of maintenance, deterioration of the interior support slabs and framing elements of the Parking Garage had become significant, including the centrally located double helix ramps, stair towers, and other ancillary areas within the structure. Further, the façade elements, the façade support structure, and the subsurface structural concrete spandrels and columns displayed a significant degree of deterioration too. The level of deterioration and neglect was also evident with the lighting and electrical system of both the Parking Garage and Façade.
The scope of work consisted of a complete renovation and repair of the Parking Garage and Façade. This included:
- performing repairs to the structural components (slabs, beams, walls, columns, etc.) stair tower renovation
- addressing Building Code and ADA compliance issues (i.e. ADA ramping/access, pedestrian fall protection, vehicle barrier systems, etc.)
- new wayfinding signage
- removal of antiquated fireproofing systems
- installation of a new thin elastomeric traffic bearing waterproofing membrane
- application of a new highly light reflective coating to all vertical and overhead surfaces
- new lighting and electrical system.
- fabrication of new matching exterior panels while refurbishing the existing panels
- replacement of the existing structural supporting panel framing
- application of a weather-resistant/waterproof coating
- new lighting and electrical system associated with the lit panels of the facade
It was important to renovate/repair the façade in such a way as to provide a long-term durable solution without changing its overall physical appearance. The panels and structural framing system needed to be removed and replaced but the original drawings did not provide an accurate depiction of the As-Built conditions. Therefore, a substantial effort was put forth to accurately restore the façade to its As-Built condition through field verifications, photos, and detailed panel assembly drawings/details.
As a result of this project, the City will continue to be able to rely upon the Ft. Duquesne & Sixth Parking Garage to service the surrounding community and events that define this City. Further, these renovations will preserve a distinct building style and serve as a reminder of the magnificent architectural features that embodied the mid-20th Century.