54 MAY 2019 | Ci | www.concreteinternational.com
Robert Weinstein is Principal and
Co-Founder of architrave p.c., architects.
He has practiced architecture for
37 years. Under his direction, architrave
has successfully completed over 500
projects on iconic Washington, DC,
structures, including Meridian Hill Park,
the U.S. Capitol Building, Library of
Congress buildings, the Holocaust
Museum, all Federal Triangle federal buildings, and all
Smithsonian Mall buildings. One Smithsonian client called him “the
best forensic architect I know.” Weinstein received his BArch in
1973 from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, and his
MArch in 1982 from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Judith Capen is Principal and Co-Founder
of architrave p.c., architects. She has
practiced architecture for
38 years, taught architecture/
published extensively on architecture
and preservation, including the Cultural
Landscape Report for Historic Landmark
Meridian Hill Park with extensive research
on its design and construction, evaluation of existing conditions,
and development of treatment alternatives with implementation.
She received her BArch, cum laude, from the University of
Cincinnati in 1973 and her MEnvDes from Yale University, New
Haven, CT, in 1978.
of specifications. Most of the drawings were survey sheets
noting every crack we had identified. For each horizontal
crack, we gave its length and classified it as medium (1 to 2 mm
0.04 to 0.08 in.) or wide (greater than 2 mm). Cracks on the
vertical elements were identified with the location, height
above adjacent finished grade, length, width, and instructions
on how it was to be filled (with cementitious material or
acrylic resin sealer).
After completion of the required bidding, negotiating, and
contracting by the National Park Service, as required by the
Federal Acquisition Regulations, construction could finally
begin. Fortunately, for the most part, the contractor submitted
the same materials we had tested and that were used as the
“basis of design.” Submittals were approved, and test repair
samples were installed. While the test samples looked good
and had good adhesion, many of the joints completed during
the project had to be redone because they did not bond well
and did not meet the standard set by the sample. It was clear
thorough cleaning of the cracks was the critical factor in
getting a good bond.
The Phase II work was detailed using another 38 pages of
drawings and 500 pages of specifications. The work included
limited repair and replacement of pavement, steps, and curbs;
and repairs of spalls and large areas of deterioration. The latter
included partial or full replacement of a baluster, part of a
fountain bowl, and the walls and piers. The contractor had
access to samples and research we had prepared, but the
contractor was required to obtain the required types and
quantities of materials, produce samples based on the
specification, and learn from mistakes. Perhaps the most
notable mistake was when one entire pier was placed out of
plumb and had to be demolished. Each condition required its
own special attention, but the product improved as the
workers gained experience.
We visited Meridian Hill Park recently on a beautiful
spring day. The park was teeming with people and drummers
in a drum circle. Ten years after our project was done, work
continues. But a quick look at the social network and
hardscape indicated the park is flourishing.
1. ACI Committee 201, “Guide for Making a Condition Survey of
Concrete in Service (ACI 201.1R-92) (Reapproved 1997),” American
Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MI, 16 pp.
2. ASTM C856, “Standard Practice for Petrographic Examination of
Hardened Concrete,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA.
Selected for reader interest by the editors.