The Vibiana Project was the first phase of a restoration to the second oldest building in Los Angeles. The historic cathedral was seismically retrofitted in preparation for future use as a performing arts complex and event venue. This first phase included selective demolition and the protection of existing historical elements; the construction of new footings and concrete shear walls; the repair of the unreinforced masonry walls and the plaster that covers them; the replacement of the old roofs; the strengthening of the building’s wood framing; the pinning and cleaning of the limestone facade; and the refurbishment of numerous windows.
Part of the seismic retrofit work at Vibiana involved a structural upgrade to the existing wood floors. This turned out to be more difficult than originally expected when it was discovered that there were no access openings through which to bring new beams and joists. The innovative PCL team opted to cut strategic openings in the plywood subfloor, through which they threaded all their materials, and then patched the holes with the same piece that had been removed. In addition, some of the crawl spaces under the floor were a full foot shorter than was illustrated in the plans, but PCL’s carpenters worked with what they had, in very confined quarters, to install the supplementary framing.
2005 Honorable Mention Award - Southern California Development Forum
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