A range of stone materials were utilized for the
historic restoration/renovation project that would become O.C. Tanner Flagship
Jewelry Store in Salt Lake City,
UT. At the building’s east
elevation, a brick exterior was replaced with large 1,800-pound honed slabs of
Valders Buff limestone from Valders Stone & Marble, Inc. in Valders, WI,
which surround a glass curtainwall.
Valders Buff limestone from Valders Stone &
Marble, Inc. in Valders, WI,
was able to naturally replicate the stone color of an historic building in Salt Lake City, UT.
Fabricated stone had to match different finish requirements for the exterior of
a restoration project that would become O.C. Tanner Flagship Jewelry Store.
Additionally, the company’s Valders Dovewhite dolomitic limestone was used for
the interior redesign.
Originally built in 1906 as a city
library, the building added a brick addition in 1961, when it was converted
into a planetarium. In 2003, the planetarium relocated, and the building -
listed on the National Register of Historic Places - was left vacant. O.C.
Tanner Company, a multi-million dollar company known for making jewelry as well
as awards for the Olympics, decided to purchase the building in 2003. O.C.
Tanner Company made a commitment to the city of Salt Lake to restore the
building to its original size, structure and splendor.
project for the exterior restoration included the removal of the non-historic
[brick addition] and the creation of a new contemporary facade at a location
which had been an interior wall,” said Partner-in-Charge, Rob Pett of MJSA Architects
in Salt Lake City, who served as the architect for the project. “This was done
with the use of glass and limestone cladding. The interior of the building was
completely redesigned as a contemporary jewelry store.”
The limestone surrounding the glass curtain wall laser
etched by Catherine Shuman of Decoro Art Stone in West Jordan, UT.
From the very
beginning, O.C. Tanner Company’s plan was to create a building that would
embrace its past while also looking ahead to the future. “Achieving a tasteful
and subtle merging of past and present in this new entrance was one of the
owner’s key requirements. Extensive research and due diligence were performed
to ensure the project’s success,” said Michael Schumacher of Valders Stone
& Marble, Inc.
Some of the most dramatic new stonework
can be found at the building’s east elevation.
1,800-pound slabs of Valders Buff limestone replaced the brick used for the
1961 renovation. The panels were honed and then laser etched by Catherine
Shuman of Decoro Art Stone in West Jordan, UT, to make up this area, surrounding
a glass curtainwall. “Because there were no historic photos documenting the
east elevation’s original architecture, a new limestone facade, which literally
reflects the building’s history, was designed,” said Schumacher. Images were
etched to illustrate the facility’s past functions as a library and a
planetarium, and they also detail its current use. “A scene from the library
anchors the building, an image of the “m101 galaxy” adorns the limestone tops,
and a portrait of O.C. Tanner symbolically unites the images in the center,”
The project also addressed the main entrance on the
other side of the building. In this area, the existing locally quarried
historic limestone facade was removed, restored and then reinstalled.
According to Schumacher, the size of the laser-etched
slabs make this entrance the largest laser stone etched project in the world.
In addition, placing the images on the exterior limestone cladding was among
the most challenging aspects of stonework. “This was accomplished by the
technology of laser etching using a screened process and adding a white pigment
stain in the resulting depressions,” said Pett.
were installed by Kepco+ of Salt Lake City, UT. “The large laser etched pieces
were 9 feet, 10 inches x 5 feet, 4 inches and weighed approximately 1,800
pounds,” stated the company. “The large slabs had to be transported to Utah horizontally and
then rotated 90 degrees to be installed. To carry the spans, the stone had to be 2 inches thick. A mason’s
A-frame scaffold with a monorail system was used to rotate the pieces. The
monorail system consisted of a structural channel and alumna beam which was
rated to be supported from the head rack of the frame scaffold.”
Paving made of Valders Buff limestone in a thermal
finish and Zimbabwe Black granite lead to the entrance of this historic
landmark and extend all the way around the front.
According to Kepco+, the slabs were cut thinner than
usual because of the existing conditions presented by the building, but the use
of Valders stone allowed for a thinner application. “Most of the limestones
under consideration would have been much thicker - at least 4 inches,” stated
the company. “However, the jobsite conditions for the East wall were very
limited, making it impossible to utilize a 4-inch-thick stone. The Valders
stone proved to be a perfect fit for the project, both in color for aesthetic
considerations as well as structural properties to meet the thickness
limitation. Because the stone was so thin, additional blind anchors were
installed behind the stone to accommodate span requirements. This was all
determined through the engineering analysis performed by KEPCO+’s Director of
Engineering, Steven Judd.”
The exterior stonework was
completed by Kepco+ in five weeks, with four men on the job. “This includes the
installation of the pre-attached galvanized angles, which carried dead loads
for the stone,” according to Kepco+. “These large pieces were supported from a
relief iron and side anchored to pick up lateral loads.”
The main exterior staircase features locally quarried
Heber Red sandstone, which was a close color match to the original exterior
In addition to
the installation of a new entrance at the east elevation, the project also
addressed the main entrance on the other side of the building. In this area,
the existing locally quarried historic limestone facade was removed, restored
and then reinstalled. “Much of the stone from the demolition phase was salvaged
and restored so that it could be reinstalled in other areas,” said Schumacher.
“Matching the cross-hatched and combed finishes of the historical stone
presented a unique challenge both when restoring the historical pieces and
fabricating new pieces to replace those damaged beyond
Furthermore, whatever was not able to be salvaged
was replaced with Valders Buff limestone, which was given a “custom finish.”
“We tried to produce the texture of what was already on site,” said Schumacher.
“Delta Stone, a local stone fabricator, worked diligently with the installing
contractor, architect and client to perfectly match the original finish applied
to the stone.”
Moreover, this area features Valders Buff
pavers that have a thermal finish. Zimbabwe Black granite from Caffall Tile of Salt Lake City, UT,
is integrated with the limestone, and the combined stone paving extends all the
way around the front. Visitors approach the entrance doors through the use of a
staircase made of locally quarried Heber Red sandstone, supplied by Delta Stone
in Heber, UT. “Local Heber Red sandstone was used to replace the original
historic front stairs and restoration of the original foundation,” said Pett,
adding that it was a color match to the historic stairs.
Valders Buff limestone is also carried onto the walls that
make up the parking structure. The material is further utilized for exterior
details such as tapered copings, radial panels and profiled accents. Pett noted
that much of the exterior selections for Valders Buff limestone came due to the
color match of the original as well as its strength and durability.
A redesigned interior
The interior of the building was planned to be
completely redesigned into a contemporary jewelry store. Keeping in mind the
owner’s desire of making this “America’s Most Beautiful Store,” a three-story
spiral staircase made from Valders Dovewhite dolomitic limestone surrounds an
elaborate chandelier fixture -- creating a glamorous look for the interior.
renovation and restoration work of the exterior, the interior was planned to be
completely redesigned into a contemporary jewelry store. The design
incorporates approximately 1,200 square feet of natural stone on the
To honor the owner’s desire of making this “America’s
Most Beautiful Store,” a three-story spiral staircase made from Valders
Dovewhite limestone surrounds an elaborate chandelier fixture, creating a
glamorous look for the interior. Additionally, the same material is carried
onto other areas of the interior for flooring.
Pett, the radius stair treads range in sizes of 1 foot, 6 inches x 4 feet, 6
inches x 6 inches, while other areas on the interior flooring range in sizes of
1 foot, 10 inches x 1 foot,
inches x 2 inches.
The interior radial stairs were handset
by Kepco+. “The spiral staircase consisted of four sections which were
fabricated from structural steel and connected at the mid-landing and at each
set from level one to two and then again from level two to three,” stated the
company. “Since the staircase was supported at the top and bottom, the
staircase had flex within. Kepco+ attached the limestone to the structural
steel with structural silicone.”
The interior staircase was
installed by a three-man crew and took two weeks.
A rewarding completion
Approximately 1,200 square feet of the same stone was
also used as interior flooring.
September of 2009, the $24 million renovation took close to two years. “The
drive behind the project was to carry out Obert C. Tanner’s dream of building America’s Most Beautiful Store,”
said Schumacher, who added that his company supplied over 600,000 pounds of
Valders limestone for the interior and exterior. “It was very humbling to be a
part of something so rich in history in Salt
Lake City. It was an honor for us to work on the
project. Thankfully, we were able to match the [stone] color. We have done
other restoration [work], but nothing of this grandeur. It’s such a showpiece -
an artistic gem in the middle of the city. We’re really all sharing on the
successful completion of the project.”
The store has received a Tucker Award from the
Building Stone Institute as well as an award from the Utah Heritage Foundation,
and it is in competition for other honors as well.
Sidebar: O.C. Tanner Flagship Jewelry Store
Salt Lake City,
Owner: O.C. Tanner
General Contractor: Big-D Construction, Salt Lake
Architect: MJSA Architects, Salt Lake City,
Stone Supplier: Valders Stone and Marble, Inc., Valders,
WI (limestone); Delta Stone, Heber, UT (sandstone); Caffall Tile, Salt Lake
City, UT (granite)
Stone Installers: Kepco+, Salt Lake City,
UT (wall panel installation and interior radial stairs); Child Enterprises,
Springville, UT (restoration of building facade, water table repair and parking
structure stonework); Caffall Tile & Marble, Salt Lake City, UT (exterior
stone paving, curbing, wall copings, etc.); Millcreek Tile & Stone, Salt
Lake City, UT (interior stone tile)
Stone laser engraving:
Decoro Art Stone, West Jordan, UT