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Celebrating Seven Years!

5 May


Aeon celebrated our seventh year as an independent business with our annual Cinco de Mayo party, known within the company as Aeon Independence Day! Staff  celebrated with barbeque and beer with many family members attending. Aeon is also celebrating the hiring of two new staff members, Jean Stoll and Daniel Holcombe. We are thrilled to add these two members to our team and thanks to all of our collaborators, colleagues, and clients that make what we do such a joy. Cheers!


Union Station Rostral Columns

8 Feb


Aeon is pleased to report that the restoration of Union Station’s rostral columns has been completed. The Christman Company along with Robinson Ironworks and United Building Envelope Restoration have completed the final touchups. We are thrilled to have worked with the Union Station Redevelopment Corp on this project. Work included complete dismantling of the ornamental cast iron and granite balustrades, off site restoration and refinishing, and restored gilding and new LED lamping of the light fixtures.

APT EVENT – Union Station Rostral Column Restoration

4 Nov

Wednesday, November 09, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
50 Mass Ave NE, Washington DC West Plaza

Please join The Christman Company for a tour of the ongoing restoration work on the rostral columns and balustrades at Union Station, including the opportunity to see disassembly of the cast iron columns.  The second set of columns and lampposts will be removed from site on November 9th and returned later this year.  Off-site restoration will include the abatement of existing coatings, cast iron repairs, re-casting of broken elements and the application of high performance coatings.  The tour will  also highlight masonry cleaning and restoration of the Vermont white granite balustrades.  Masonry work includes general cleaning, graffiti removal pinning of the balusters, removal of embedded fasteners, patching and crack repair.

Soon after the completion of Washington Union Station in 1908, a plaza was added at the front of the building.  Columbus Plaza was designed to include two gateways consisting a pair of rostral columns and lampposts mounted on granite balustrades.  The area between the columns was originally open to traffic, but was converted to be sidewalk by 1985.  Columbus Plaza was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.  

The tour will begin at the West Plaza, located in front of the Union Station Metro Station at 6:30pm, and will be led by representatives from Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, Aeon Preservation Services, and The Christman Company. Registration is not required, but please arrive a few minutes before 6:30 to ensure you don’t miss the tour departure.

Restoration of the Mexican War Midshipmen’s Monument

9 Sep

Aeon just completed the restoration of the Mexican War Midshipmen’s Monument, Aeon’s second major project at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The monument was an 1848 gift by the Academy’s Brigade of Midshipmen. The restoration was made possible thanks to a gift from the Class of 1986. The monument was unveiled at a ceremony this morning during reunion weekend.

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Deicing Options for Historic Buildings

14 Jan


Corrosion on an Aluminum Door Frame caused by Deicing Salts

In any climate where temperatures reach below freezing, deicing walkways will be required for safety reasons.  Yet all deicing methods are not created equal. The best available method is mechanical heating of the walkway surface to eliminate the chance for ice to form; however, this method is cost-prohibitive and not always practical to install for historic buildings. Alternative chemical deicers are more affordable, but come with a host of other considerations, including their compatibility with historic building materials.

The most common deicer used in the United States and internationally is sodium chloride (NaCl, or table salt).  Sodium chloride is inexpensive and easily sourced, but employing it as a deicer can be very harmful to historic building fabric. Both sodium chloride and other salt-based deicers—including calcium chloride (CaCl2), magnesium chloride (MgCl2), and potassium chloride (KCl)—are highly corrosive to many building materials. So though sodium chloride is cost-effective, using it or other chlorides as deicers near a historic structure will necessitate more money and effort spent in conservation repairs over time.

Instead, building stewards should consider acetate deicers, the gentlest of which is calcium magnesium acetate (CMA).  Sodium acetate (NaOAc) is also minimally corrosive.  A third acetate deicer, potassium acetate (CH3COOK), is more corrosive but still less harmful than chloride deicers. By choosing one of these deicers instead of sodium chloride, time,money, and historic integrity can ultimately be saved.

New Projects for a New Year

29 Dec

Union Station 1924 Press Photo

Aeon is wrapping up 2015 and getting ready for 2016 with a number of new projects including the restoration of the c1908 Rostral Columns at Union Station in Washington DC. This project involves laser scanning the ornamental cast iron columns, light poles, and granite to create CAD drawings to assist us in developing a program of repair.

DSC_0695 (1280x1126)

Happy Holidays from Aeon!

21 Dec

Jabba Party

Aeon would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season.  We celebrated this weekend with a staff trip to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, followed by a Star Wars-themed dinner with family and friends.   (And for anyone who doubts that Star Wars fits with preservation, the National Register of Historic Places has some thoughts on the subject.)