Madren Building


Charleston, South Carolina

Client: Private Owner

Scope of Services: Condition Assessment; Material Testing; Rehabilitation of Exterior

The Madren Building was constructed in the 1840s as two commercial buildings sitting side-by-side facing Meeting Street. The structures functioned as separate commercial buildings until sustaining severe damage during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. In an unfortunate remodeling, the buildings were gutted, virtually all wood elements removed save for the flooring systems, and both interior and exterior surfaces of the masonry sealed with impervious coatings. Trapped moisture in the walls began to evidence itself within a decade, finishes began failing, and extensive decay began to appear in the wood elements.

JKOA was asked to determine the causes of the widespread material failures. After review of the 1989 remodeling documents and selective removal of materials for testing, we developed a remedial program. The sealants were stripped from the exterior of the building, the brickwork was repointed with a compatible lime mortar, and a breathable limewash coating applied. Most of the new wood elements, including the 1990 window units, were replaced due to severe damage from water retention.


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