Special to the Sun
The Boston Preservation Alliance has recognized the Dome restoration of the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Esplanade with an honorable mention among its 2023 Preservation Award recipients.
“The Alliance doesn’t normally recognize projects with an Honorable Mention in our Awards program, but we wanted to highlight the impressive solutions the project team employed for this iconic Boston structure,” according to the BPA.
Coming on the heels of minor changes, upgrades, and repairs made to the structure over the years, Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype (BH+A) began work in 2015 on the Hatch Shell by completing a conditions assessment report that noting separation and spalling of the terrazzo finish that exposed the concrete substrate. This condition could have led to water damage in the interior of the structure so after analysis, the team determined that the rustic terrazzo finish could be obtained with a system that had an open drainage cavity, with the panels set on pedestals. An open cavity underneath would eliminate the freeze/thaw spalling problem. The process required utmost precision, but after a successful installation the panel surfaces give a smooth, uniform appearance.
Alison Frazee, executive director of the BPA, said, “Sometimes when preservation work is done successfully nobody knows you’ve done it, which means you’ve done it right. The types of creative solutions in this project are necessary to protect and preserve the places that mean the most to us. Next time you’re enjoying a summer concert at the Hatch Shell, or visiting any historic site, remember that there’s a team of dedicated stewards ensuring this place survives.”