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Navy Proposal to Refurbish Clinic Parapet Wall

Posted on: June 18, 2013 08:00 EDT by Naval Academy Public Works

In 1908, a new hospital complex at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) opened on the upper yard of the campus. During the 1930’s and early 1940’s, the hospital facilities were expanded with new ancillary structures and wings including the current Naval Medical Clinic (NMCL) Outpatient Clinic (Building 274), as the west ward of the hospital (c. 1939).  

The main campus of USNA was designated a National Historic Landmark in July 1961 and a Historic District in 1966.  Building 274 is a contributing resource to the USNA Historic District due to its association with the development of the USNA campus and its reflection of the architecture at the USNA. 

The parapet wall is part of the original exterior fabric of the building and an integral part of its historic facade. Due to a lack of weeps in the original construction of Building 274, insufficient maintenance, and differential movement of the exterior materials, the existing parapet wall has structurally deteriorated over the years, allowing water infiltration to the interior and weakening the parapet’s structural integrity.

Currently, the parapet wall has moved out of alignment up to two (2) inches in sections, and six of the eight building corners show evidence of cracking and misalignment. Additionally, pieces of brick and mortar were dislodged during the August 23, 2011 5.8 magnitude earthquake.

The Navy is proposing to waterproof and stabilize the parapet wall of Building 274 and fix cracking at the building corners below the cornice. Specifically, the project will make the building watertight as well as repair any structural cracking to the entire brick parapet wall from the roof level cornice to the granite capstones and repair damaged brick at the building corners below the cornice.

As required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Navy is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) to consider the potential environmental effects for the proposed project. The preferred alternative involves the removal and rebuilding of the existing parapet wall, replacing the original exterior façade with like materials while incorporating weeps and expansion joints to allow movement.

This proposed action is subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  Through consultation with the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), it has been determined the project would have an adverse effect on a historic property due to the removal of the historic fabric (i.e., parapet wall). 

Working with the MHT, the Navy has developed a Memorandum of Agreement which includes terms for mitigating the adverse effect. The proposed mitigation includes the use of like materials on the exterior façade of the new parapet wall and the development of a historic building maintenance plan for the NMCL campus within the USNA.

Please respond with questions or comments regarding the Section 106 process for this project within 14 days of publication to Tara Meadows, project manager, (202) 685-8415.

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