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Restoration: October & November 2011

Updates for October & November.

Although construction has been running about a month behind schedule, the restoration and new addition to Fire Station No. 6 continued to show steady progress in October and November.  During these months, the following work was done:

Exterior: Stucco, Brick and EIFS Crown

The exterior stucco application was most challenging. Specifications called for a three-coat process, including a scratch coat and two finished coats with color. After the third coat was applied, the surface color contained streaks and appeared to require an additional coat. The architect suggested the result reflected “old world character,” but Axiom president Tom Hair, who is overseeing the restoration, disagreed. A third-party stucco professional reviewed the project, and found that the third coat was mixed and applied too thinly. A fourth coat was applied and finally met Hair’s standards, but it came at an additional cost.

The brick application on the new building, however, drew kudos from Hair. “David Veazey’s crew did an excellent job. The brick detailing around the windows faithfully matches that of the existing building. I was amazed by how closely the color of the recently applied brick matches that of the front façade of the existing building,” Hair said. The bricks used on the new building are 100-year-old Cedar Bayou, similar to those on the existing building.

The EIFS crown on the new building seemed like a good idea on paper, but its application fell short of matching the authenticity of the original building.  Hair said that any flaws in the crown would be difficult to notice from the ground, but he is committed to preserving structural continuity. “If I had to do it over again, I would not use this material. I would instead use formed sheet metal just like the original building, even though it costs substantially more than the EIFS,” Hair said.

Interior: Wood Floors and Elevator Installation

The highlights of the interior work done in October and November included the installation of wood floors on the second level of the new addition to match those within the original building. However, the grain of typical wood used today is reflective of trees that are cut down at a much younger age and did not match tight wood patterns of the original floors within Fire Station No. 6. In order to get a closer match, Axiom purchased 100-year-old timber from a Tennessee lumber company and had it shipped to Fire Station No. 6 for installation. In December, the new (and the original) floors at FS6 will receive a walnut varnish finish.

Also, in compliance with City of Houston building code regulations regarding disabled access, an elevator is being installed within the Fire Station No. 6 building. Elevator construction began in November, and while Hair and his Axiom staff are looking forward to the completion of a modern element at the historic site, “the fire pole will be much more fun to use,” Hair said.

Other Completed Work

  • Electric service was completed. This included the installation of a power pole on Ash Street to bring electric power and communication lines to the rear of the building site, with underground cables leading into the building from the pole.
  • All sheetrock work was completed inside the building
  • All lights were installed inside the building
  • HVAC system installation was completed.
  • All interior doors were installed.

The Home Stretch
By late December, Hair anticipates enough construction on Fire Station No. 6 will be completed in order to receive a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Axiom to move into its new home at 1702 Washington Ave. Final construction work is due to be completed in early January 2012.

About the Author

Since 1998, Axiom has thrived as a hybrid advertising agency/marketing communications firm that fuses marketing strategy with compelling creative to solve business problems and drive opportunities for clients worldwide. Based in Houston, Axiom provides corporate and product branding, advertising and media planning, integrated screen and print programs, and investor relations materials with an emphasis on creative solutions for energy-focused companies.

Comments (6)

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  1. Erica says:

    I took a photo of your building recently and it took me to this site. I grew up around the corner from Washington and we would pass by this building every Saturday growing up. It is amazing what you are doing for this building and the neighborhood in general. I really think the resurgence of the neighborhood here and the developing arts district will bode well for the Washington Corridor. All of the design firms and agencies setting up shop here will do wonders for the creative community here. I look forward to seeing the restored and revamped Fire Station 6 in 2012.

  2. Tom Hair says:

    Thank you Erica for your comments and sorry for getting back to you late. I too think there is a nice resurgence going on that provides a fertile environment for creative entities. If you think of it, let me know what other design firms and agencies are moving into the area. And thank you again for your taking the time to write. Tom

  3. michael says:

    man it looks as good as I thought it would.
    great job.

    • Tom Hair says:

      Michael,

      I meant to get back to you sooner, but it has been really crazy, as you might imagine with the finish up and move in. Thank you for the compliment!

      Tom

  4. David says:

    Nice job Tom. Look forward to seeing it in person.
    David

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