This month, after decades of neglect The Trapp Block (circa 1913) and Holbrook (circa 1880s) will begin the transformation to their original state with the meticulous heritage façade restoration process. The process of reinstating the Trapp Block façade will take approximately five months and will change the face of Columbia Street, whilst significantly adding to the character of New Westminster’s historic commercial core.
Stage 1: Holbrook Bracing Removed
Early on in the development of the project it was determined that the interior construction of both the Trapp Block and Holbrook Block could not be saved due to irreparable structural failure. However much of the heritage value of the site is invested in the ornate facades of both buildings which are being restored.
Prior to demolition, a steel bracing structure was installed to retain the façade in place through the construction process. At the beginning of June, once the new structural steel and concrete of the tower were attached to the Holbrook façade, the Holbrook steel bracing facing onto Columbia Street was removed.
Stage 2: Brick Repointing
Throughout June & July the brick on the interior of the Holbrook façade will be cleaned and repaired. The brick will be thoroughly washed, the old grout removed and the brick repointed to strengthen the wall for seismic reinforcing.
Stage 3: Restoration & Installation of the Trapp Block Terracotta Façade
Atlantis Rausch has been given the task of restoring and installing the seven storey Trapp Block terracotta façade. The Trapp Block façade was dismantled in 2012 and the terracotta blocks were carefully conserved in a temperature controlled workshop constructed on-site. These blocks will then be re-installed against a new stable wall structure from June through to August.
Stage 4: Heritage Window Restoration
Both the Holbrook and Trapp Block façades have four different types of heritage windows that are either being replicated and replaced, or refurbished, by Vintage Woodworks in Victoria.
We will be documenting this important and unique façade restoration process at Trapp+Holbrook so check back often to see progress images and updates!