After the 1906 earthquake and fire, The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company completed construction of the terra cotta clad building in 1909. A prime example of neoclassical architecture, the building was rehabilitated to house the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in 1988. Due to tbe building’s size, waterproofing improvements and repairs to its terra cotta cladding were phased over several years.
After the extensive cleaning of each façade, conditions surveys of the terra cotta were conducted and unit pricing for repairs were developed. All terra cotta spalls and cracks were prepped and repaired with the appropriate materials to match adjacent existing finishes. Waterproofing measures included the repointing of all failing masonry joints as well as the removal and replacement of window perimeter sealants that were beyond their life expectancy. The mitigation of moisture infiltration of the terra cotta façade reduced the risk of spalling and deterioration of the terra cotta glazing in the future.