Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Water Main Break Damages Muny Terrazzo Artwork

A water main break that occurred two weeks ago under the under the front portico of the Muny damaged the beautiful terrazzo work of art directly in front of the main ticket booths.  The break in the main cracked and heaved the floor area under the portico.  

The worst of the damage appears to be near the curb line and away from the intricate parts of the artwork.  However a closer look reveals cracking farther into the work, but this area does not appear to be severely heaved.



The Art Deco portico by Wischmeyer & Murphy was completed in 1939, the terrazzo mural however was not installed until 1971.  It was designed by Nancy Day, a student at Washington University who won a design contest for the floor at the main entrance of the Muny.   
 

According to a Channel 5 News report, Sean Smith, the Director of Operations at the Muny is pessimistic that the artwork can be saved at all and the report states that a bare concrete slab may greet theater goers the summer!  This seems like an extreme view, given that much of the artwork appears un-damaged.  The report goes on to mention that the water main will be re-located out into the street so that it can never again cause problems for the building.

Given that large areas of the artwork remain unscathed, it would seem that everything possible should be done to restore the damaged portions of the artwork so that this irreplaceable is not lost forever. 

8 comments:

Kara said...

The damaged floor would be far more attractive than bare concrete. They should just seal the cracks and live with an imperfect floor until such a time comes when full replacement is necessary.

samizdat said...

Well, that's St. Louis for y'uns.

Muny Person said...

Unfortunately, The Muny is going to have to dig up the area where the artwork is to check for structural damage and fill in where all the dirt/mud/etc. was removed from the rushing water. We want to try to save the art, but the terrazzo and underlying concrete has to come up for the repairs and inspection. We are as sad as the public is.

samizdat said...

Oh, my Dog, Ed Golterman is going to have a coronary when he hears about this.

Anonymous said...

Sad but true, the city-region is in a serious decline that started over 40 years ago. As time goes by, basic services are neglected as finances continue to strain basic services and maintenance is delayed. The combination of decay and cold weather determines our quality of life. Terrible but more not less of this is our future.

Polishing Terrazzo said...

Lots of good information here!Thanks for the post!

sirking said...
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