Case Studies

St Calasanctius Mural, Buffalo, NY

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In 2002, the plans to renovate Frank Lloyd Wright's Graycliff in Derby, NY, called for the demolition of an on-site school built by the Piarist Fathers, who owned the estate previously.The Piarist Fathers had commissioned Jozef Slawinski in 1967 to create a sgraffito mural at the school, honoring St. Joseph Calasanctius. The Polish Arts Club, a local preservation group, was determined to save the mural and called in International Chimney Corp.

The bottom half of the heavy sgraffito was anchored to the school’s concrete block wall, but the anchors were not accessible for removal. To save the mural, that portion of the wall had to be cut away from the building and salvaged with the mural when it was moved. The strong Lake Erie winds had begun to form cracks in the mural, so the face of the artwork was protected, and reinforced concrete was poured around the wall and mural to insure that it would not break during handling and transport.

A move frame was constructed around and through the wall to provide support while ICC’s precision concrete saw cutting team separated the mural from the remainder of the wall. The mural was set in a protected location outside the grounds until a new home could be found for it. Three years later, Buffalo State College expressed its willingness to accept the mural. However, the campus was over 20 miles away. A special angled transport frame was designed to support the mural in a tilted position (to get under bridges) on its flatbed journey. Two large cranes were used to set the 18-ton piece outside Butler Library on the Buffalo State College campus.
 

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