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Saving Streamline Moderne

  • Wednesday, May 19, 2021
  • 16:30 - 18:30
  • Online via Zoom


Registration is closed

WCAPT's "Hardhat Optional" series continues with a presentation

by John Fidler, Maria Mohammed & Christina Varvi

***UPDATE: This event is now eligible for 2 Hours of AIA LU/HSW Credit***

Saving Streamline Moderne: Conservation of 1939 facades of the former May Company department store for reuse as the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles

Click here to join via Zoom!

After a long gestation period (2012 - 2020), preparations are now underway for the grand opening on September 30, 2021 of the $482 million Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles.

The 300,000 sq. ft., facility comprises the adaptive reuse of the 1939 Streamline Moderne style former May Co department store as exhibition space and offices, linked by ingenious glazed bridges to a new Sphere Building that houses two world-class movie auditoria suspended on giant legs over an open piazza. While Renzo Piano’s overarching design and Buro Happold’s engineering have received much recent publicity, the less obvious though award-winning stabilization of the May Company Department store’s (now Saban Building) facades now receive their due.

Preservation specialists John Fidler (John Fidler Preservation Technology Inc), Maria Mohammed (Structural Focus), and Christina Varvi (RLA Conservation) will provide an online presentation about their work on the original limestone, granite and gold-glass mosaic claddings over A. C. Martin’s steel-framed structure, explain their means to verify the extent of deterioration, and to retain and repair original features. The conservation work saved over 80 percent of the historic facades and contributed greatly to the LEED Gold status awarded to the overall project.

Delegates will:

  • Learn to identify Streamline Moderne style elements of the former May Co. Department store.
  • Recognize issues created from previous incomplete diagnoses and repair of the building’s cladding.
  • Review the use of remote sensing techniques and focused laboratory testing to inform material deterioration assessments and comprehensive strategies for repair.
  • Discover the innovative use of helical friction anchors to retain historic fabric, and methods deployed to remove systematic risk of water ingress.
  • Respond successfully to unanticipated field surprises.

 Join us on Wednesday, May 19th at 4.30pm PST.

Registration is free at!

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