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Temple University Performing Arts Center Dome Repair

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In the heart of Philadelphia sits an incredible treasure – the Temple Performing Arts Center.   Purchased in 1974 by Temple University the Baptist Temple was designated as historic and a landmark building.  It underwent an extensive remodeling and has since hosted many great performing artists.

Superior Scaffold was called in by Temple University to help with the renovation of the two copper domes on top of the center.  Over the years, the copper had oxidized and the wood beneath had fallen into disrepair. It was Superior Scaffold’s job to get the crews up there to do the renovation.

The first challenge was to fashion a decorative but functional entryway / canopy that not only showed off the grandeur of the classic building but supported the tremendous load of scaffolding above.


“It not only had to allow pedestrians access to the center but it had to look great and allow crews to reach the top to work on the new copper domes,” said Tom Creighton of Superior.


The additional challenge was not to damage any of the decorate artifacts or stonework on the roof.


Superior has more experience working with historic structures in Philly and is the best when delicate items need to be considered. (see Independence Hall)

Superior crews built a super-stable platform extending all the way around the base of the dome and built two work decks above the entire diameter of the domes – allowing renovation crews total access.

The crews had to strip off the decaying copper and rebuild the wood support beneath.

The new domes look amazing and we will post a photo as soon as we can.  Temple University is one of our   favorite clients and we were honored to help with their renovation.

Historic buildings are our speciality.  Don’t hesitate to contact Superior Scaffold
for all of your scaffolding needs (215) 743-2200 – Ask for Tommy.


Shoring up the Ben Franklin Museum, Philadelphia, PA

The new Benjamin Franklin museum just off of 4th & Market in an area known as “Franklin Court” is under way.  This will be Philadelphia’s newest exhibit about Ben Franklin and when completed, the new Benjamin Franklin Museum will be underground!

The exterior or top of the Benjamin Franklin Museum.

Ben Franklin Museum – new concrete slabs and support steel.

Yes, an underground museum.  And that’s all well and good but it posed some real challenges when it came time to do the expansion.  You just can’t take a hundred and fifty year old building and slap a bunch of exhibits inside.  You need a complete redesign to support the architect’s vision.  And that exactly what they got.

If ever you wanted to see what shoring actually does – this is the time.  You can clearly see the work going on above the shoring and below the shoring.  It always amazes me at the sheer weight that these post shores can hold when you take in consideration the cement and steel necessary to make a job like this happen.

Beneath the concrete slabs you can see the shoring necessary to hold up the new steel and cement.

This was an extensive demolition of an old structure to open up the building.  Walls had to be removed, ceilings had to be shored up so new steel and concrete could be poured to support the new additions.

The view from below the concrete pour going on above in the first shots.

Another view from the basement.

15” thick Concrete slabs were poured and giant concrete beams were brought in to help support the weight.  That was probably the biggest challenge on the job.  The steel was so long it took several cranes and expert crews to get them in through the alley and into place.  Superior Scaffold shoring guru, Bob Robinson, had to calculate all of the weight loads so the proper equipment could be utilized and the work done safely and up to code.

The underneath shot.

What’s going on above the shoring.

Some of the concrete beams in the new design were 36” wide X 42” deep and spanned 42 feet  column-to-column!

When it’s all done, the exhibits will be divided up into different rooms that reflect various aspects of his personality and his life.  The museum will feature interactive displays exploring his life as a private citizen and statesman through individual, room-like installations. The library is intended to be the culminating experience.  Other 21st century additions to the underground museum include interactive elements like touch screen kiosks, a computerized version of Franklin’s glass armonica a musical instrument employing glass and water to create sound, and two-minute animated vignettes designed to help visitors understand critical turning points in Franklin’s life.

A clear view of the shoring necessary to support the work going on above.

More information:

CBS local news coverage on the job.

Click here for news on the construction job.

Truly amazing 4 story shoring project in Princeton, NJ

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Surprise, surprise, surprise.  I walked into this old building thinking I would find a few dirty post shores holding up a section of calapsing entryway or maybe even a portion of cieling that needed support but what I found was truly amazing.

Now, shoring isn’t the most glamourus sector of the construction industry – relegated to dusty old basements and haunted houses deep in the underbellies where ghosts and spiders live…  So this renovation at  the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart  at 1128 Great Road was a pleasant surprise.  They are expanding this old structure in a big way, updating the old 4 story brick school building to a more open style learning environment.   But to do that – they needed to take out most of their support walls and put new steel and concrete in to carry the weight.  Normally, not a big deal because you do it one floor at at time.

But this job was doing it ALL AT ONCE…  Yes, 4 massive floors of concrete and steel being supported or shored up at once.

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These old buildings once had many rooms and walls that would support the weight of the ceiling/floor above them.  Take a look at these pictures and see just how incredible a task it was to support the floors above one another simultaneously.

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The really unique challenge here was that most projects like this work on one floor at a time as the new steel and concrete are added.  Once that structure is stable and in place you move to the next floor up the line.

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But with this project, Superior Scaffold engineer, Bob Robinson, had to design a shoring system that supported the existing steel and concrete for ALL 4 FLOORS AT ONCE!  Crews could then modify and add the new steel and supports needed for the additional weight.

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You can see the bottom floor in the photographs.  This was where the bulk of the support weight was being carried from the floors above it.  Robinson had to calculate the weight loads and provide the proper shoring equipment necessary to keep this project standing.  All of the architectural drawings had to be PE stamped in NJ before the project could begin.

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Currently, the bottom and the second floors are complete.  We will bring you updates and photos as the job gets closer to completion.

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Superior solutions for shoring projects call (215) 743-2200

Additional information on the school.

Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart is an independent all-boys Catholic school located in Princeton, New Jersey and is part of the Sacred Heart Network of Schools. Princeton Academy serves students from Junior Kindergarten through grade 8 and is the only all-boys Catholic primary school in the state of New Jersey.[2] The school operates within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton.

New Copper Swages or Ferrules for Suspended Scaffold wire ropes

Our Superior Scaffold Suspended expert tells us about the new copper swages.

Why they are stronger, safer, and better than traditional bolt on ferrules or fist grips for wire ropes and tie-downs.

Very simply put – time and safety.  Traditionally, you had to make sure each of your fist grips were tightened sufficiently before getting to work.  With these new copper swages you are safe and secure and working the minute you hit the job site.

Another helpful hint from Superior Scaffold.  Also see scaffolding