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Building Conservation Associates

University of Pennsylvania,
3808-3810 Walnut Street

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Year Built: 1898
Original Architect: W Frisbey Smith

3808-3810 Walnut Street is located in the heart of the University of Pennsylvania’s urban campus. The three and one-half story twin was designed by Philadelphia architect W. Frisbey Smith and built in 1898. The facade features iron-spot Roman brick and is heavily ornamented with copper metalwork.

BCA performed a paint analysis to determine the building’s original exterior paint colors and oversaw the restoration of these colors to the building. BCA also developed construction documents for the stabilization of the metalwork required prior to re-painting, and BCA staff provided construction phase services throughout the repair and re-painting project. Several years after the repainting project, the University embarked on a project to convert the building into meeting space and guest housing for prominent campus visitors. The project combined a restoration of the facade with a modern addition, and BCA was retained to design the exterior restoration. BCA performed an up-close, hands-on survey of the building and documented probes to investigate the assembly and condition of the building’s bay windows and roofing. BCA produced drawings and specifications that addressed the restoration of more than a dozen different materials at the portion of the exterior to remain, and provided construction phase services during the project to ensure quality control during the project.