Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art, designed by Cleveland architects Hubbell and Benes, opened to the public in 1916. While there have been several additions, this original building, made of white Georgia marble, still stands as an excellent example of neoclassic design.

As masonry contractor, Graciano handled the museum with special care. As Project Manager Dave Sinclair explained: “In restoring and preserving a historic landmark such as this, the architect’s guidelines must be followed precisely, many samples of building materials are required, and because the structure is made of marble, a stone that is somewhat soft, great care must be taken not to harm it, especially during cutting and pointing of the mortar joints.”

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Randy Von Ryan, architect for the museum, echoed these concerns, noting the particular challenges of restoring a museum building. “You have to be as delicate as possible with the materials—not to damage or over-clean the stone and to protect the bronze work. It’s also crucial to make the exterior walls as airtight as possible and to monitor the galleries to ensure there is no water infiltration: there are valuable works of art behind those walls.”

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“We chose Graciano because of their experience and credentials,” Von Ryan noted, “and also because of the work they did on the Rhode Island State House, which is very similar to the Cleveland Museum of Art both in its Greek Revival style and its Georgia marble construction.”

The project includes:

  • Cleaning of the entire building
  • Pointing
  • Patching and replacement of marble, installation of dutchman
  • Restoration of bronze work
  • Installation of storm windows
  • Installation of bird netting
  • Installation of lead caps on all architectural features that protrude skyward, such as water tables, cornices and drip edges

Project Portfolio Images

Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art

Project Details

  • Completion Date: 4/1/2002
  • Owner: Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Architect: Randy Von Ryan, Cleveland Museum of Art; Lonnie Hovey, Vitetta (Philadelphia)
  • General Contractor: Graciano Corporation
  • Masonry Contractor: Graciano Corporation

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