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Causten Restoration Work
The restoration of the Causten Vault involved architectural assessments under the auspices of the Architect of the Capitol, conservation work by Worcester Eisenbrandt, assistance of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, our own staff, and several Congressional Cemetery volunteers.
The Association chose the firm of Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc. (WEI) in a competitive bidding process to undertake the repair and restoration of the Causten Vault and three others. WEI first cleaned all the surfaces with low-pressure power wash using a non-ionic soap and D2 biocide solution. Second, WEI hand raked all the mortar joints to a depth of two times the width of the joint where doing so would not harm the original material. WEI replaced approximately 20 bricks during the repointing process on the west façade.
The door was opened and removed for thorough cleaning before being painted with a zinc-rich rust-inhibiting primer and a modern polymeric coating. New locks were installed with keys replicating 19th Century skeleton keys. Inspection of the interior ceiling indicated damage to the vault itself.
The sod covering the vault was removed, revealing a cementitious material underneath. That too was removed before cleaning, raking, and repointing the brick vault. Upon completion, a new parging was applied to the exterior vault. Click here for the WEI Conservation report.
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