In October 2013, Broadway Bank of San Antonio, TX, embarked on a major project to preserve and update the company’s iconic building, located on Loop 410. The structure’s 46-year-old quartz and marble exterior had become cracked, damaged and weathered with time, prompting the bank’s owners to turn to Western Specialty Contractors, Malitz Construction and architect Garza Bomberger & Associates, all of San Antonio, TX, to return the exterior facade to its original luster. Additionally, the owners wanted to coordinate the structure to the bank’s high-rise administration building, located directly next door.
“It was vital to the success of the project that the new quartz tiles match the facade of the bank’s adjacent high-rise administration building,” explained Dan Wicht of Western Specialty Contractors. “The bank’s owners had quartz tile from the Himalayas installed on the administration building when it was constructed to closely match the existing bank building. Three years later, the owners decided to replace all of the exterior tiles on the original building with tiles to match the new administration building. We used the same quarry in the Himalayas, this time supplied by Jolanta Tile of Anaheim, CA, where the bank had ordered quartz tiles for the administration building three years ago.”
Western Specialty Contractors was tasked with removing sealants in all of the building’s exterior joints and replacing them with new silicone sealants, as well as removing all of the building’s worn exterior quartz tiles and replacing them with new ones made from Himalayan quartz.
Each tile was cut into 2½- x 8-inch pieces, adhered onto CMU walls with Laticrete thinset and then grouted. Western Specialty Contractors’ crews installed 14,796 square feet of quartz tile, finished with a rough split-face texture. Finally, the job was completed by chemically cleaning and pressure washing all of the bank’s exterior marble panels to a like-new appearance, while all of the exterior windows were resealed using silicone caulking.
Although there weren’t any major issues with the design, several obstacles did need to be overcome. “Our biggest challenge was lead time,” said Wicht. “Also, the materials had to be trucked through muddy roads into India, then fumigated, stored in a warehouse for a week and finally shipped to Los Angeles, only to have the same process repeated here.”
Construction was completed in June 2014, and in the end, any complications proved to be well worth the effort. “Broadway Bank was very pleased with how well the new facade matched its adjacent administrative building constructed about two years prior, considering that the quartz tiles were from the same quarry, but mined at different times,” explained Wicht. “We were able to successfully mirror the two facades by performing tedious mock-ups for the banks new look using tiles from multiple pallets, which provided a variety of brown, blue and gray hues that the white quartz contained.”
San Antonio, TX
Architect: Garza Bomberger & Associates, San Antonio, TX
General Contractor: Malitz Construction, San Antonio, TX
Subcontractor: Western Specialty Contractors, San Antonio, TX
Stone Distributor: Jolanta Tile, Anaheim, CA
Installation Products Manufacturer: Laticrete, Bethany, CT