Structural Steel Lifted into a Historical Building on Broad Street

The following article regarding NBM's work on Broad Street was featured in the Post & Courier on March 8, 2016

Broad Street closed for construction crane as landmark gets steel re-enforcement

by Robert Behre, 3/8/16

It might be called Broad Street, but it’s too narrow to accommodate both a construction crane and passing traffic.

That’s why the street’s most eastern block, between State and East Bay streets, has been closed to vehicles this week as NBM Construction Inc. lifts structural steel into the historic building at 1 Broad St.

Mark Beck, owner of the 1853 building, is renovating it as a restaurant, office space and a single apartment.

He visited the site Tuesday and noted that its roof and upper floor, which have suffered damage from an earthquake, Union shelling and hurricanes, need tons of new beams to shore it up.

“The steel is going to give the building another 100 years of life,” he said.

As with most renovation projects, there have been unwelcome surprises.

Crews originally planned to lower the steel beams through an opening in the building’s two roofs, but when crews began removing the most recent one they uncovered an unusual web of earthquake ties and bolts.

A structural engineer advised leaving them be, so workers came up with a new plan, said NBM supervisor Robert Schneider.

“They’re now going through the window,” he said. “It’s a little bit time consuming and a little bit nerve wracking, but other than that it’s getting done.”

On a positive note, the weather has cooperated. NBM’s permit with the city calls for reopening the street on Friday.

The three-story brownstone building was designed by Jones and Lee and is one of Charleston’s best examples of the Renaissance Revival style. Its notable features include lion heads with different expressions above each first floor keystone.

Beck said he hopes to have the building listed as a National Historic Landmark.