The West Loop's Ace Hotel was built in on the site of an early-1900's cheese factory. During construction the existing 2-story historic masonry façade had to be stabilized while crews demolished the side and rear walls. Traditional bracing requires steel posts drilled at an angle with footings within the building. These supports would have infringed on the construction schedule and had the potential of disturbing a 100+ year old water main directly adjacent to the façade location. With input from the City's Department of Historic Preservation and the Chicago Department of Water Management, our team enlisted the help of a structural engineer and a trade partner to develop the design-build solution of utilizing an unlikely source to stabilize the façade: shipping containers.
The historic façade was secured to the shipping containers that were stacked on top of each other along the sidewalk outside the new building footprint providing the most economical and schedule efficient solution.