The Goodwin Hotel
Historic Facade and Roof Restoration
AIA Connecticut Preservation Award and International Masonry Institute Golden Trowel Award
Built in the Queen Anne style in 1881 to house commercial retail spaces and luxury residences, the Goodwin Hotel in downtown Hartford is a distinctive architectural landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed of masonry bearing walls, the structure’s exterior facades are accented with ornamental brickwork and terra cotta. In the late 1980s, the building was transformed into a luxury hotel with 124 guestrooms, and accommodations for fine dining and conferences. The interior of the building was completely reconstructed, leaving only the historic exterior for incorporation into the new facility.
Following completion of the hotel, symptoms of masonry distress became evident at the structure’s original facades. Spalling, cracking, and efflorescence persisted after initial repair and restoration efforts. The owner called on Hoffmann Architects + Engineers to investigate the causes of this deterioration and to develop a program to restore the exterior of the building.
The firm’s comprehensive restoration program consisted of the complete reconstruction of the upper exterior walls and roof of the structure. These repairs included replacement and restoration of damaged brick and ornamental terra cotta, complete repointing of all mortar joints, and application of a water-repellant coating.
Challenges were significant, including recreating 14 customized brick shapes, repointing narrow mortar joints, and phasing the work to allow at least 80 percent of the hotel’s guest rooms to be available at a given time. Hoffmann designed a restoration plan that provided a watertight building enclosure while successfully maintaining the aesthetic and historic features of the Goodwin’s original design.