When this 1952 historic Midtown Atlanta building was renovated a few years back, it was a welcome improvement for the neighborhood — but not an easy construction project because of the building’s height and location.
The building is located in an area that’s always bustling. Just one block from the Fox Theatre and Georgia Terrace, it’s in one Atlanta’s most walkable sections and on Atlanta’s most famous street. There are plenty of sidewalk cafes and restaurants, MARTA is just down the street and downtown is less than a mile away. Before it was renamed it was an apartment tower called Howell House.
Need another hint? Baraonda, an Italian restaurant and bar known for its wine tastings, is located in the building at street level.
Did you guess the building? It’s…
Solace on Peachtree
At 710 Peachtree Street, the northwest corner of Peachtree Street and Third Street, Solace on Peachtree is considered one of Atlanta’s treasures because it was renovated instead of bulldozed and replaced. Like many commercial buildings, it actually has several roofs instead of one. Our role during the renovation was to re-roof the very top of the main building — the roof with all the mechanical equipment — plus the elevator shaft.
3 high-rise challenges to overcome
There were three big challenges with this highrise project. First, there was the wind. Wind makes everything more challenging and the higher up you go, the windier it gets. Second, there were a lot of people around. Renovating a building the size of Solace on Peachtree is no small task and requires a lot of crews who are constantly in and around the building — not to mention the usual foot and road traffic around the building. The renovation crews also needed to use the freight elevators, just like our crews did. Third, this building has no parapet wall going around the perimeter of the structure. Among serving other purposes, parapets help prevent materials and tools from falling from the roof and onto the street (or people) below. To compensate, our crews set up a perimeter system to control debris.
Other preparations included extremely well-defined safety procedures, careful staging, and a detailed plan to get the roofing materials up to the roof. The freight elevator didn’t go all the way to the top of the building so our guys had to hand-carry the materials up a couple of flights of stairs to the roof.
The extra tasks required to complete this job — from dealing with the winds to the team coordination to the added safety precautions to the limited elevator access — quadrupled the length of time it would typically take to complete a re-roofing project with this amount of square footage. But there’s a lot more to a re-roofing project than its surface measurement!
We came back a couple of years after re-roofing the main building in 2009 to re-roof the two wings of the building. You can see the south wing in the photo. You can also see the beautiful terrace level with the green umbrellas that’s above Baraonda.
Here’s what project leader Bruce Erickson, Vice President, Construction Management of CFLane Management, said about our work for Solace on Peachtree:
“I’ve been working with Sentry Roof Services for 18 years — with Bill now and before that, his dad. The service we from Sentry is what stands out most. Recently when we renovated Solace at 710 Peachtree in Atlanta, the roofing contractor went bankrupt a month into the job (we use a competitive bidding process and had hired the low bidder). Bill came in, purchased all of that contractor’s materials so the contractor wouldn’t have to take the loss, and then finished the project on time and on budget even though it was complicated, with large cranes and elevators. They really did a great job, as usual.”
Here are some more details about this project.