Restoration and preparation work continued at a steady pace throughout August in the Auto Building and one the surrounding site at 158 Sterling Road. One of the more noticeable activities we reported on in July was the crushing of surplus and “waste” concrete into pebbles to be reused as clean fill on-site. This work has now been completed and the clean fill is now safely stored on the site, ready to be used when needed. Inside the building, there was some legacy asbestos and lead pipe that needed to be removed. This has been done and the work as been fully inspected and approved.
Work on the interior of the Auto Building also progressed through the balance of the summer. All the floors have been ground and readied for eventual polishing. The ceilings and columns have been sandblasted. The floor on the 10th floor has been roughened from the removal the existing damaged surface; it will be ground (and eventually polished) once a new roof structure is in place. The sandblasted columns on the first floor have been wrapped to protect them.
The next phases of work will see the floors polished, the columns sealed (with a clear sealant) and the ceilings will be painted [picture of test “white” colour]. The walls have not been sandblasted as these will be insulated and then have drywall installed.
Conduits for electrical wiring have been installed up to the 9th floor of the building. These steel conduits will be fitted with electrical wiring in the next phase of work.
Openings for the new passenger elevators on the west side of the building have been completed through to the 9th floor. As well, the elevator shaft on the southeast corner of the building is being prepared for a new passenger elevator.
Preserving key elements of the Auto Building’s heritage is of critical importance as the restoration proceeds. The original fire doors have been stored and will be put back in place and secured as heritage features but they will not be used. Similarly, on the north wall openings have been made for hoist (construction elevator) access. Original bricks have been removed and stored but will be reused when these north-face openings are filled in with brick and windows once interior restoration work is completed.
Outside on the north side of the Auto Building a new concrete hydro vault has been installed along with plastic ducts for the new hydro connection. On the northeast corner of the building, a concrete pad is being poured as the base for the hoist (construction elevator) that will be installed later in September or in early October.
We look forward to providing an update on work at the Auto Building at the end of the month.