Decorative Scrim covers scaffolding around Independence Hall’s Tower restoration.
Visitors to Independence National Historical Park this winter will have a new way to appreciate Independence Hall Tower while it is scaffolded during a 14 month rehabilitation project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Thanks to the Friends of Independence, the scaffolding is covered by decorative scrims showing images of the iconic tower.
The Friends of Independence National Historical Park donated the funds for the decorative scrim to the park. The scrim displays architectural measured drawings of the tower, colored on the north and south sides so visitors may still experience the grandeur of the tower during the rehabilitation. Decorative scrims are growing in popularity, and this scrim has attracted public and media attention. The drawings are decorative and also create a “teaching moment”: temporary waysides nearby offer information about the measured drawings on which the image is based.
The purpose of the important ARRA tower rehabilitation is to arrest and correct decay of the tower’s exterior skin. This project includes repointing and replacing damaged brick masonry, installing or replacing wood shingle roofing and flashings, restoring and painting window sashes, frames and doors. Carpentry repairs include painting and caulking on all exposed wood decorative building elements over the full height of the tower. This project also requires reinforcing new clock faces and bracing at all building elevations, refurbishing historic copper urns, replacing the supporting weathervane structure, providing borate fungicide treatment of interior structural elements, and replacing the tower’s outdated lightning protection system. The current tower dates to 1828 and was designed by architect William Strickland.