Union Station is one of the most significant old style rail stations stretching across our country. The Train Sheds, extending over ¾ of a mile, and the red brick Head House, with its 250-foot tower, are landmarks in downtown Indianapolis.
The Station first underwent a major renovation in the early eighties and most of the structure was brought back to its original glory. Since the renovation, many of the exterior elements were either neglected or improperly repaired, and began to experience a high rate of failure, forcing the city to secure a restoration team to stabilize and restore the exterior.
Trisco Systems, Inc. was chosen for the masonry restoration of the Head House and for the restoration of the thousands of pieces of terra cotta on the Train Sheds.
The scope of work for the Head House included: replacement of over ten thousand bricks, tearing down and relaying major wall sections, rebuilding of portions of the tower and turrets, replacement of large stone elements, replacement of most of the building’s mortar joint system, and cleaning the entire exterior. One of the most difficult parts of the project was trying to locate turn of the century hand-pressed brick and using lime putty mortars to match that of the original construction.
Each of the over three thousand pieces of terra cotta units on the Train Sheds were treated in some way. Many units were replaced. Some were stabilized and patched. While others were treated with materials designed to add service life. Again, all of this work was performed with the care and craftsmanship required to be historically accurate, while employing certain newer techniques and materials.