Restoring a Unique Piece of American History

Medallion Parking Garage

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Masonry Facade Reconstruction

Project Profile

Project Background

  • Parking structure built in the 1920s to support the Hotel Casey, once the centerpiece of downtown Scranton (original garage was named the Casey Parkway)
  • A new garage was to be built, with the building’s 18 terra cotta window spandrel panels preserved and used as the centerpiece of the new construction; each spandrel contained a hand-carved terra cotta medallion depicting a stylized historic motor vehicle
  • MPS was originally contracted to investigate removing the spandrels and medallions and reinstalling them into the new parking structure

Project Challenges

  • The terra cotta assemblies were found to be extremely well-bonded to the brick masonry backup, meaning that removal would result in many terra cotta pieces being damaged
  • Many terra cotta pieces were deteriorated beyond reuse; the removal and reattachment of the entire assemblies was not an option
  • MPS’s solution was to rehabilitate and re-install the terra cotta medallions into precast surround assemblies made from molds of the original spandrel pieces
  • The assemblies were installed in the new precast garage structure with recesses left for each panel, which required extremely precise placement

Project Approach

  • New precast concrete surround panels were created, with careful attention to maintaining the exact size, shape, and finish of the existing terra cotta spandrel pieces; more than 400 new spandrel pieces were precast by MPS
  • All precast pieces and the original medallions were coated with a surface treatment that would replicate the appearance of the historic terra cotta on each piece
  • The new panels and original medallions stand today as a striking tribute to the original parking garage and its historical significance

“MPS’s work was thorough, meticulous, and of the highest quality. It is easy to see the pride they take in their work when viewing the restored medallions. When I walk by the Medallion Parking Garage, I too look up with pride at the results and our involvement in helping to preserve this example of Scranton’s rich history. I will continue to recommend MPS to any building owner looking for quality analysis, expertise, and professionalism in caring for and maintaining the substantial investment they have in their building infrastructure.”

Stephen Peterson, LEED AP
Project Manager
Burkavage Design Associates, LLC