The historic renovation of the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, with Tarlton Corp. serving as construction manager, won a 2018 Construction Keystone Award from the Associated General Contractors of Missouri.
This year’s honor marks the ninth time Tarlton was recognized for a top Keystone Award-winning project since the inception of the competition.
Tarlton was among 10 winners chosen from a field of 30 finalists at the 21st Annual Keystone Awards on Nov. 8. The AGC of Missouri Keystone Awards program recognizes contractors who meet and successfully resolve challenges on construction projects.
Tarlton’s work on the 7,000-square-foot Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum, an iconic pre-Civil War structure on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden, won in the “Building Construction Project Under $10 million” category. The museum, which was opened in 1859 by St. Louis businessman and philanthropist Henry Shaw, served as the garden’s first scientific research facility, library and herbarium of more than 62,000 specimens. Widely considered one of the most historically significant buildings in the Midwest, the building had been closed to the public for more than three decades. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Working with project architect Christner Inc., Tarlton’s scope of work included an aggressive schedule, unforeseen conditions and an unexpected discovery during the demolition of a plaster drop ceiling: the paintings of three noted botanists on a barrel-vault ceiling hidden above the false ceiling in a room adjacent to the main exhibit hall. The discovery temporarily halted work while conservators from EverGreene Architectural Arts in Brooklyn, N.Y., were brought in for the careful restoration.
Meanwhile, in the main exhibit hall, construction and artistry worked side by side as the Tarlton team restored historic finishes, completed structural improvements and erected scaffolding to allow art conservators to access the ceiling two stories up. There, they undertook the painstaking replication of a painted botanical mural spanning 12 separate panels overhead.
To usher visitors into the space, Tarlton built a 2,000-square-foot addition that connects to the museum, which serves as the new accessible entrance and houses public amenities. The two-story addition’s glass curtainwall provides occupants with a feeling of being surrounded by nature and was designed in accordance with preservation principles outlined by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the U.S. National Park Service.
Additional updates include an expanded light-filled lobby that offers space for exhibits, artwork and other displays; a renovated lower-level gallery; and a new staircase that links the two floors.
The Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum project garnered additional Keystone Award recognition with a win by Niehaus Building Services LLC in the “Specialty/Subcontractor Building Construction Project Under $3 million” category. Two other subcontractors on the project – Guarantee Electrical Co. and Kirberg Co. – also submitted nominations for their work on the museum. It marked the first time all three finalists in a single category had worked on the same project.
The AGC of Missouri represents about 550 construction and construction-related firms in the state of Missouri that perform building, highway, and infrastructure construction. It is affiliated with several national organizations, including AGC of America.