for preservation and rehabiltation of the 1959 ASM Headquaters and Geodesic Dome, 9639 Kinsman Road, Minerals Park
The renovation of the ASM International Headquarters building is a catalyst for change in the arena of historic rehabilitations. The ASM project is one of the first Mid-Century Modern buildings to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Ohio and to receive both State of Ohio and Federal Historic Tax Credits.
The headquarters building and dome, located in rural Russell Township, Ohio, is home to ASM International, formerly known as the American Society of Metals. The 50,000 square foot semi-circular headquarters building features floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, various metals in interior design and detail, stainless steel floating staircases and a historic green roof system. The unique complex, constructed in 1959, was conceived by prominent Cleveland architect, John Terence Kelly; ASM's managing director for 50 years, William Hunt Eisenman, and futurist and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller.
In 2009, Michael Chesler, President and CEO of The Chesler Group, Inc., met with the managing director of ASM International and convinced him that The Chesler Group would be able to restore this significant landmark and bring it back to its original beauty. The rehabilitation plans were timely as deferred maintenance and very little system updating had placed stress on the building and a number of problems existed, including water damage to the historic concrete wall of the green roof.
Securing both State and Federal Historic Tax Credits for the project allowed for the complex and extensive rehabilitation of the building. At 50 years old, the building is one of the youngest historic structures to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Ohio and its starkly modern characteristics made the restoration work challenging at times as there are relatively few guidelines on how to deal with construction comprised primarily of metals, concrete and glass, which varies significantly from the materials used in traditional historic buildings. The Chesler Group worked closely with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and National Park Service to develop and write standards for the ASM International Headquarters renovation. These included forensic concrete analysis, stainless steel refurbishing, green roof plaza restoration, and complex asbestos abatement. The Chesler Group developed replicable strategies that can be used on other modern-era rehabilitations.
The 268 historic, monumental plate glass windows and frames were carefully cleaned, re-caulked and re-glazed. All original metal surfaces including decorative copper panels, brass bands, brass handrails and stainless steel floating staircases were repaired and preserved.
Eighty-three custom, exterior stainless steel solar shades were removed, carefully labeled, refurbished and re-installed. In addition, the building was made more energy-efficient with the installation of an ultra-efficient air conditioning system, and perimeter radiant and heat systems. Finally, the entire interior was upgraded and the building made ADA code compliant.
The ASM complex, surrounded by 45 acres of green space, was rehabilitated true to the vision of the original architect. The renovation not only preserved a remarkable landmark and an extraordinary example of Modern architecture, it also allowed for the expansion of leasable office space in the building and kept the operation of ASM International in Russell Township.
ASM employs over 100 people, has a membership of over 35,000 nationally and internationally, offers camps and classes, and draws more than 2,000 visitors a year from around the world. The grounds and mineral gardens are open to the public regularly and the building is available for tours.
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Click here for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.