Providence, RI, February 20, 2017 – Martone, Incorporated announced today that it has been awarded the national 2017 Commercial Restoration Interior Award from Painting & Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) for the firm’s work on the restoration of the Rhode Island State House dome. The prestigious award is bestowed annually to honor outstanding achievements in historic preservation nationwide.
“It’s an honor for Martone to receive this recognition,” shares founder Michael Martone. “We are so proud to have been tasked with the complex restoration of the nearly 70-year-old mural atop our State House, and will always be grateful that this impressive building now plays a role in our own legacy.”
The Rhode Island State House is the most magnificent building in Providence, Rhode Island. It boasts the fourth largest unsupported marble dome in the world, behind Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Minnesota State Capitol, and the Taj Mahal. Built between 1896 and 1904. The building is 333 feet in length, 189 feet in height, and contains an astounding 327,000 cubic feet of white Georgia marble.
One of the crown jewels of the historic landmark is the large mural which spans the entire dome on the building’s interior. Titled “The Four Freedoms”, the mural depicts Rhode Island’s early history, and was completed in 1947.
Martone’s historic restoration project originated when a roof hatch was inadvertently left open. The mural suffered substantial water damage from above, causing the paint to peel in many areas. Portions of the sky and clouds, as well as three figures in the mural, were all but gone. The gilded molding that circles the top of the dome was also in dire need of repair.
The scope of surface preparation for the project was significant, and began with the installation of massive scaffolding. Due to the sheer magnitude of the building as well as historical significance, the project required scaffolding that reached just under 200 feet to the top of the dome. It was engineered freestanding to ensure the existing marble would be not be disturbed or damaged.
The project comprised of removing deteriorated plaster, and creating new plaster molds to duplicate originals; conservation cleaning, reattaching historic paint, and applying conservation clear; restoring gold in the moldings, medallions, and surrounding the oculus; and scraping, sanding, priming and painting missing pieces back into the mural to match the original artist’s muted color palette and staccato brush work. Multiple historic references and photographs were used throughout.
From the beginning, the project was time sensitive. To fit the State of Rhode Island’s legislative calendar, work could not start until the legislative session ended on September 18, 2016. It was to be complete by Thanksgiving in time for a ceremonial Christmas tree lighting in the center of the rotunda.
Once scaffolding was erected and Martone had the opportunity to thoroughly inspect the dome, it was clear that the damage was significantly worse than anticipated. The scope evolved to include conservation cleaning, reattaching of historic paint, and the application of conservation clear. However, the completion date could not be changed.
To meet the demanding schedule, Martone utilized the talents of several artists who work at the firm, and engaged noted conservation preservationists Charles C. Clear III and Richard Pawlack to augment resources. Working double shifts and over weekends also helped to close the gap.
The project was completed on time – in 120 days – to the satisfaction of stakeholders and the legislative community. “We are extremely pleased with the work and professionalism of the Martone team,” notes Dane Kwiatkowski, Project Manager, State of Rhode Island. “Given the complexity of the project, and significant obstacles and challenges that were overcome within a very tight timeline, we couldn’t have asked for a better partner.”
Developers, designers, contractors, preservationists and other craftsman will gather to recognize all award recipients at the 2017 PDCA national awards ceremony which will take place during the association’s annual Painting & Decorating Expo on February 25, 2017, in San Diego, California.
A non-profit organization founded in 1884, PDCA represents the interests of professional painting and decorating contractors nationwide. Among the most prominent objectives of PDCA is to lead the industry by providing quality products, programs, services, and opportunities essential to the success of its members. Today, PDCA represents the interests of over 5,000 owners and top-flight managers from more than 2,500 painting and decorating firms across the U.S. and Canada. Learn more at: pdca.org.
About Martone, Inc:
Founded in 1996, and based in Narragansett, Rhode Island, Martone is a recognized leader in managing complex construction, restoration, painting and coating projects across a range of commercial, industrial and residential applications. For further information, please visit: martoneinc.com