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Olympia West Capitol Campus

Olympia, Washington

Owner: Washington State Department of Enterprise Services

Square feet: N/A

Completed: 2017



For the Olympia West Capitol Campus, Bassetti provided a feasibility study and construction documents services in collaboration with WJE. The project featured the investigation of existing conditions, pre-design-level strategies, and cost estimating of exterior preservation needs for six historic buildings on the campus: the Legislative Building; Temple of Justice Building; Insurance Building; John A. Cherberg Building; John L. O’Brien Building; and the Joel M. Pritchard Library. As a result of our pre-design services, two buildings were prioritized for restoration: the Legislative Building and the Temple of Justice, both of which exhibited extensive staining and spalling. Our work included masonry walls restoration and repair of the plaza and steps, below-grade leaks, copper roofing, flashings, rainwater drainage, foundation and planter drainage, and bronze window and door hardware.

Built during the first half of the 20th century, the Capitol Campus houses buildings that are prime examples of the grandiose civic architecture popular during this era. Characteristic of civic buildings from this time, the buildings are constructed primarily of sandstone, which allows for intricate details such as Corinthian columns and ornamental cornices. However, sandstone is extremely vulnerable to environmental erosion and as a result, the buildings require a thorough maintenance plan.

The project’s primary challenge was the extremely sensitive nature of the sandstone. We carried out meticulous research on what had historically been done on campus and tested methods in discrete areas in order to ensure that the sandstone would not be harmed in the restoration process. In addition, the historic sandstone supply is highly limited. We were able to overcome this by strategically using a cementitious mixture in discrete spaces to minimize the use of the stockpile.

With careful consideration of the historically landmarked qualities of these buildings, Bassetti provided expertise with construction documents, bidding, and construction contract administration for the work at the Temple of Justice and the Legislative Building. We also developed a long-term maintenance Preservation Plan in order to keep these buildings beautiful and functional for years to come.