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Caldwell Hall Mosaic Restoration

Caldwell Hall is a building on the campus of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Rugo Stone was hired to restore the marble mosaic floor, which was originally installed in 1870. Conserving and restoring a marble mosaic floor involves a careful and artistic approach to preserve the original material and design.

The original floor had several damages. Some areas had missing mosaic pieces due to damages or modifications over time. Plus, the floor had several cracks, wax build-up on the marble, and scratches and stains on the marble mosaic.

Initially, the mosaic conservation team from Rugo Stone carefully assessed the condition of the marble mosaic floor. The team identified areas of damage and deterioration and any potential causes, like moisture, traffic, or previous restoration efforts. The team then documented the state of the floor through photographs, sketches, and written descriptions. This documentation served as a reference throughout the conservation process.

Our team performed a gentle cleaning on the marble mosaic floor as a first step to examine the damages and potential causes in greater detail. This cleaning helped identify the best restoration treatments required for each damaged area. Rugo mosaic artisans stripped the old wax and dirt off the floor, deep cleaned, removed loose grout from the joints, then replaced broken and missing tesserae (mosaic squares 1/2″x1/2″).

We perfectly matched the color of the marble to the various marble colors used 150 years ago. Our team also created and installed a new mosaic threshold. Finally, the floor was re-grouted, cleaned, and sealed.

We performed the restoration with conservation and preservation in mind. The goal was not to make the floor look new but rather to perform restoration to preserve the original patina on the stone. The client was extremely happy with the results. We take pride in performing such historic restoration projects to help prevent or slow down deterioration, extending the lifespan of marble and preserving projects of historical importance for years to come.

Location: Washington, DC
Completion Date: 2023
Owner:  Catholic University of America
General Contractor: Rugo Stone
Size: 600 Sqft
Services Performed: Consultation, Historic Marble Mosaic Preservation & Restoration

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