Deep in the heart of Philadelphia’s most prestigious historic district (Rittenhouse Square) is this gem of a pre-war building called Rittenhouse Plaza at 19th and Walnut. The historical structure of this building is being preserved to retain the integrity of the original design (1926).
Superior Scaffold was called in to help get crews all around the perimeter of this 21 story art deco building while they give it an extensive exterior restoration. Our experience working with historic buildings gave us the upper hand in designing a suspended scaffold plan to get crews onto the facade. Bob Sarkisian, V.P. of Suspended Scaffolds worked extensively with the client on the best approach to complete this job. Ultimately, there were multiple suspended scaffolds working simultaneously to finish the job.
Because it the building’s design and limited access to the roof area, Sarkisian spent many hours working with the clients designing the rigging and platform layout for utmost access and safety. You can see in this photo where he had to place the outriggers and counter weights to balance the suspended scaffolds. If you look carefully at some of these other photos around the back and sides you can see the swings and the outriggers.
And in these photos you can see the shape of the building and how the staging was building to accommodate the corners (to get the most real estate for crews)
Superior also designed a fully functional overhead protection system that allowed the work to continue overhead while everything went on business as usual down below.
Crews were able to complete the restoration work on time and within budget helping make the Rittenhouse Plaza shine to its proper glory.
Some fun facts about The Plaza:
*The building is a Co-Op and not a condominium.
*1901 Walnut St. is finished in an Art Deco Style, and has one of the most visually interesting lobbies in town.
*When first constructed in the 1920’s, the building was designed in such a way that it basically could be split down the middle,
and would be the same on both sides. Two elevator banks, serving 3 units per floor.
*Elevators were manned until the mid 1990’s…today, they are fully automated 🙂
Call Superior Scaffold today for all of your suspended scaffold and overhead protection needs. (215) 743-2200
This is a monstor of a job. We promised some photos and since we, at Superior Scaffold, keep our promises – here they are.
It’s hard to believe that this all hangs 40 feet ABOVE the entire gaming room floor while people are hustling and bustling about underneath.
They sit above the interior that is the size of 2 full length football fields.
These wings or fingers are 300 and 400 feet long!
What this project entails is getting crews up underneath the ceiling while the casino remains open for business as usual so they can get the new HVAC and mechanicals installed.
The solution came in the form of what is called a multi-point suspended scaffold. It’s not only wide, but stable enough to hold equipment, rolling towers, HVAC piping, etc.
These giant work platforms actually hang from chains from the arched trusses at the ceiling. It’s netted in so nothing can fall off of the sides and its sturdy enough to support just about anything you can put onto it.
We’ve done these before (see blog on Hanging bridge platform) but never at this scale.
The ceiling has giant arches which of course curve and give different elevations along that curve. So the challenge for our crews was to get the lengths of chains correct over the entire spans of this platform while they were assembling them to keep the platform perfectly level.
The segments had to hang at different elevations from the trusses to accommodate the particular ducting and venting going on up there. Some lengths would be 20 feet while others would be 10 and so forth. But once our guys go the proper lengths in place the platform was installed, level and sturdy.
Here is a video so you can see in real time what these platforms look like.
There aren’t many comapanies that can or will undertake an immense job like this. Our star estimator, Anthony Pini, made it his personal mission to come up with solutions to solve this engineering problem – and his team succeeded without incident.
The new HVAC and mechanicals are installed and everyone at the Seneca Niagara Casini can literally breathe easier!
Call Superior Scaffold today at (215) 743-2200 for solutions to your unique scaffolding project. Ask for Tom Cruise, AKA Tony Pini.
It’s time to pay tribute to the outsiders in our company. Yes, it’s the swing department. In fact, I hate to admit this but they came up with that very clever headline. I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t.
Is our swing department the “bad boys” of the company? You tell me? In their spare time all they do is race cars (fast cars) build hot rods, snowmobile through the frozen tundra (very fast) talk about driving fast, and taking chances. Have you detected a theme here? All except for the one VW building hippy who just likes to putter around at 50 brake horsepower thinking he’s going really fast… But then again, he’s got the pop-up camper lid and big screen TV in case he wants to take a nap. He’s the exception. (Also the one who came up with the headline – not to name names) He actually said, “Some might think that in this day and age of airbags and crumple zones driving a vintage VW bus is kind of living on the edge.” He’s a rebel..
I just thought about it for a second – and maybe I’m bestowing too much onto their “bad boy” image. It seems to me that the regular scaffold guys are just as loony. I mean, you would have to be to climb around on the outside of buildings held on only by a harness and your brute strength. At lest the boys in the swing department have a (sort of) cage to protect them AND motors to elevate them up and down whereas the scaffolding men have to climb up and down under their own power. Hmmmm.
I guess this debate could rage on for pages. Can we at least agree on one thing? No matter what reputation our guys have off the job – they do some pretty incredible work and they won’t take chances with safety.
Which brings us to the actual job.
I posted this because this isn’t something you see everyday. While doing facade restoration and window replacement at the high rise at 1900 Rittenhouse Square – our guys at Superior Scaffold used 3 foot and 6 foot porch brackets to allow contractors access to the setback facade of the building without having to reach out dangerously or make additional drops in work cages.
What are porch brackets, you ask? They are those unique pieces that so handily clip right into the Altrex staging that fill the gaps. In the photo above you can see one single 3 foot section on the left and two (3’ sections side-by-side) to make the 6’ section. They not only save time and money but also make it much safer for crews while working on buildings with setbacks and bump outs.
This 50’ section of staging spans the entire façade and fits perfectly on either side of the window balconies. The porch brackets allow workers direct access to the façade in one sweep. This superior scaffold is also rigged with the Bisomac 210 hoist for super strength and reliability. We can give a shout out to our supplier BeeAccees who provides us with all of these cool items. This just goes to show how versatile accessories like porch brackets can be when planning out a restoration project.
In this photo you can see the guys working on the windows actually standing on the porch brackets. Without them it would be an infinitely harder job and certainly more time consuming.
So, as the debate rages on – swing department = “bad boys” or not – we can be assured that the crews of this job at 1900 Rittenhouse had a positive experience with a few setbacks!
A bit of history on 1900 Rittenhouse: 1900 Rittenhouse Square Apartments is a historic high-rise building on Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was built 1923–1926. The 58-meter-tall, 18-story building has been converted to condominiums.
If you need a positive experience with a few setbacks call Superior Scaffold today – (215) 743-2200.
The stone arch bridge was originally constructed back in 1875 and then rehabbed in 1947. So it was time for a reconditioning – seems that this old bridge still has over 5,000 cars travel over her every day in Doylestown, PA. Crews needed a way to support the structure and to get into the arches to repair the stones and masonry while keeping the road open above.
This was the challenge for Superior Scaffold.
First order of business was diverting the river through two of the arches so one could be fairly dry while the scaffolding was erected. Then, once that was built, the water had to be diverted again so the second, and then third arch could be constructed.
The next challenge was how to best shore up the arches so work could be completed but also support enough weight for heavy machinery traveling the road over head. Superior engineer Bob Robinson decided on 20k scaffold frames to hold up the shoring beams and wood supports. It allowed the road to remain open for business while construction crews completed the work below.
It’s a unique way to solve the problem and keep a major thoroughfare open.
The job went off without a hitch and the mighty river is flowing once again and cars are happily traveling over the old bridge in Buck County.
Call Superior Scaffold at 215 743-2200 or go to http://www.superiorscaffold.com for all of your scaffolding and shoring needs.
Who would have thought that the 1960’s cult hit from the band The American Breed would have been a perfect fit for this suspended scaffold job at the CityView Condos. But once you see what Superior Scaffold can do with modular swing stages you will understand the significance of, “Bend me, Shape Me”.
Every now and then you run into a job that doesn’t have a flat surface – like here at 2001 Hamilton St, Philadelphia, PA 19130. The building is unique, in that, it has 45 degree corners. This poses a challenge for most contractors trying to do any façade or window work. But with our staging we helped the contractors configure this job with the least amount of suspended scaffold.
We have the ability to configure the swings to almost any shape.
This particular building has a total of 8, 45 degree corners and is approximately 240 feet in length. We were able to cover then entire building using 6 suspended scaffolds.
Superior scaffold also provided 400 ft of overhead protection.
So the next time you hear:
Bend me, shape me
Anyway you want me
Long as you love me
It’s all right
Bend me, shape me
Anyway you want me
You got the power to turn on the light
Think about Superior Scaffold’s ability to custom fit any swing to access those hard to reach areas.
And for those nostalgia people – check out these videos.
(the back and white version)
If you prefer color – it’s here…
No mics, no horns, no orchestra… crazy stuff…
This neat old church at 1064 Penn Ave, in Wyomissing, PA, that began its life in 1909, needed some repairs to the high vaulted plaster ceilings – so they called Superior Scaffold.
Superior is known for its skill working with historical buildings and the care it takes around one of a kind artifacts and structures. This was no different. We had to construct some cool system scaffolding up, over and around pews, alters, and priceless objects at Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ
The ceiling was divided into sections with flying buttresses, so the layout had to be spot on accurate.
We used system scaffold with joists and plank to not only get to the hard to reach places but to also build a solid platform or dancefloor for the workers.
The steep, sloped, plaster ceilings had new sheetrock added over the old plaster, and then they were textured and painted.
This gave the old girl the dress up she needed for the next 100 years.
We were proud to bring our skills and experience working with historic buildings to Bausman Memorial United Church of Chris.
Here are some articles detailing Superior Scaffold’s work with historic buildings:
A little history on this church.
Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ is part of a denomination which is a merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches of the United States.
Construction of a small church began in 1909 and it was dedicated in 1911. As the congregation grew, members decided to complete the church building with an addition begun in 1922. The completed building was dedicated in 1924.
1064 Penn Ave Wyomissing, PA 19610
Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ is a church of diverse learners seeking answers to life’s questions based on the teachings of Christ. We nurture each other with respect, share with each other as family, and engage God and others in worship, music, study and in service. Every Sunday we offer Church School programs for all ages at 9:00 a.m. and gather for worship at 10:15 a.m.
Univeristy of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology completes phase 2 of $15 Million renovation
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology |
at 3260 South Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104 | (215) 898-4000 has just completed
phase 2 of it’s extensive rennovations.
Widener Lecture Hall now looks like this after a complete restoration – thanks to the many craftsman and companies that took part – including us – Superior Scaffold.
The completion of the Widener Lecture Hall marks the end of the second phase of the Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology’s $15 million renovations of its west wing, which began in 2010.
This is what it looked like when Superior was brought in to provide scaffolding support so crews could get to the arched ceiling for mechanicals, electric, HVAC, sprinklers, and more. The challenge was to get workers to the hard to reach areas while allowing the ground below to remain open for access.
Superior used system scaffold towers connected with trusses up top to free up space for other trades below. Everything was decked in high above the ground to make a safe working platform.
The new space got air conditioning for the first time in its history, as well as new windows, lighting, and a state of the art audio visual system.
Built originally as a lecture hall in 1899, Widener Lecture Hall has most recently been used for woodshop exhibitions.
The first phase of the renovations of the west wing of the Museum was the renovation of the second and third floor galleries.
Following the completion of the Widener Lecture Hall, the third phase of the project will be the renovation of the conservation labs and teaching labs, which are on the first floor of the building.
For more information check out these sites:
For all of your scaffold / scaffolding needs call Superior Scaffold (215) 743-2200
I love it when we can help someone out in a pinch. That’s why we have the emergency services line. (215) 743-2200. Kind of like the Bat phone for scaffolding. I’d like to think that our very own Bob Sarkisian is Batman (in a way). But really, the only time he’s like the caped crusader is when he’s climbing the side of a building in one of his swing stages or answering the Bat phone, like this case.
We say it – and we mean it. We will have crews on-site within 24 hours and the problem solved or at least in motion shortly thereafter. We really do have the fastest response teams in the industry. And I’m not just saying that because Batman (Sarkisian) and his trusty partner Robin (Shawn MacDonald) have me squeezed tighter than Anita Bryant and some Florida orange juice. But it’s true. In reality, it’s mostly MacDonald who acts more like Batman on these emergency service calls. I guess trusty sidekicks are always quick to slip into their leader’s shoes when they aren’t around. But I digress…
The guys over at 13th and Chestnut needed to get to the top elevation for some cornice repairs and reconstruction. And they needed to get up “air” fast. The job was put into overdrive. From the time Batman (Sarkisian) at Superior Scaffold took the call – all the way through design, engineered drawings, approval, and erection it took only 7 days. We even added containment netting too.
Bam! Pow! Zap! Done! Holy Bat Erection.
Yes, another satisfied customer. So when you need something in an emergency situation – don’t turn on the Bat signal (Sarkisian or McDonald will never see it – too busy analyzing what effect Bat guano has on steel cross braces) make the call to Superior Scaffold’s emergency service line (215) 743-2200. You won’t be disappointed.
More pics to come, as the job continues.
So, not only did we help scaffold the building for the new support steel but we just installed the canopy at the entryway. In the background, you can see the 5 story steel structure where our scaffolding used to be. They are making great progress on the new addition at the Chester County Hospital, and we are grateful to be a part of such a unique project. (See the original blogpost here.)
And speaking of unique, this was a very cool and innovative way to tie-down a canopy. It’s not something you see everyday.
Normally, there are many places to tie-down a canopy to keep it stable and secured from the elements. But as you can see from the pics there wasn’t much to hold on to out here in the front of the hospital. On the one side, you see the large cement Jersey Barriers (no problem) but the opposite side just had blacktop. And how would we tie into that?
So our super duper team of engineers and builders came up with an awesome system to keep this baby anchored properly.
Look at this little gem – called an Earth Anchor. Aptly named for its ability to anchor just about anything down to the good ole’ blue planet. If you look carefully, you will see an X type of bracket that has two tubes on it at 45 degree angles. X.
Long steel rods (about 2′ – 3’) are driven through those X tubes and down into the ground itself. The idea is to create an apposing force in the soil that is virtually impossible to pull out. “You would literally have to move something like 40 square feet of dirt to pull one of these ties from the clutches of mother earth,” said Superior Scaffold’s main man, Shawn MacDonald.
And then, at the top of the X bracket is a fastener where the tie-downs hook in. The canopy then can be ratcheted down to these brackets making it super stable and virtually impervious to high wind.
Here are a few photos of the canopy (sidewalk shed) in place.
Superior Scaffold – innovative scaffolding solutions. (215) 743-2200. Philadelphia, PA
Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA is embarking on a $45.2 million building project to increase inpatient bed capacity with 72 new private rooms and to install a new, state-of-the-art linear accelerator for the treatment of cancer.
Artist Ben Long’s ‘Scaffolding Sculptures’ are series of three-dimensional constructions made from conventional scaffolding components. By using these builder’s materials out of their everyday context, Long creates meanings and symbols an audience would not normally expect. In this exhibit he creates the words Art and Work.
By separating the word ‘artwork’ into its two component words, Long leads us to contemplate the key ingredients required in the making of any work of art; the initial spark and development of an idea, and the productive course of activity that makes an idea into an artifact. (from the Man&Eve exhibit blog)
He does amazing things with scaffold materials that we, at Superior Scaffold, use everyday. Here are videos of him assembling his gallery pieces.