The East monumental stair of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery was constructed in 1905, and reconstructed from 2010-2012. Our investigation of the stairs determined the cause of the shifting and cracking to be deteriorating foundation walls resulting from water infiltration. As a result, the foundation walls were unable to adequately support the stone steps and side walls.
Following the investigative study of the foundation’s condition, the first action was to disassemble the stair, numbering and stockpiling on site the reusable granite and marble treads. Veneer granite on the side walls was also removed and stockpiled on site. The exposed foundations confirmed the extent of deterioration. The top courses of rubble stone and brick were removed and new reinforced concrete stepped foundations were poured over the sound existing lower foundations. Side wall foundations were stabilized with concrete allowing for reinstallation of granite wall panels in proper, flush alignment.
Granite and marble treads were reinstalled over new foundations. A few new, matching granite treads were required to replace the deteriorated or damaged originals. The entire assembly was repointed with historically correct mortar. The project at this National Register building was supported with an EPF grant which required SHPO approval of all drawings, specifications and construction. It was also awarded the 2013 Preservation Buffalo Niagara Award.