City Hall Still Exposed to Ice, Snow Damage 

click to enlarge A year after a snow and ice damaged the Broad Street entrance, City Hall remains unprotected from the elements. File photo by Scott Elmquist.
  • A year after a snow and ice damaged the Broad Street entrance, City Hall remains unprotected from the elements. File photo by Scott Elmquist.

The city is reviewing a final report by an architectural and engineering firm to correct the problem of snow and ice accumulation on the roof of City Hall.

In December 2009, snow and ice fell 18 stories from the building's roof, damaging the facade and shattering the glass canopy above the building's Broad Street entrance. No one was injured, but more than a year later, the building's appearance and the snow accumulation problem have yet to be resolved.

Mike Wallace, a city spokesman, says Fairfax-based Dewberry proposes constructing an electric melting system, a capture system that would hold the snow and ice in place, a gutter system and a solar melting system. Once a decision is made and drawings are complete, Wallace says the city will bid construction, which will take 90 days.

“The falling snow and ice are a result of the Broad Street overhang at the top of the building and the slope of the building's roof,” Wallace says. Because the situation hasn't been fixed, the Broad Street entrance and terrace are closed off during winter storms. The glass canopies over the Ninth and 10th street entrances remain, and Wallace says the city is evaluating all sides of the building for safety.

City Hall is no stranger to danger from above. In the early 1990s, chunks of marble siding began falling off the building. After holding the building's facade together for eight years with 5,000 fiberglass straps, City Hall underwent a $21.2 million renovation in 2003, which included adding the metal facings that were damaged in 2009.

Days after the damage occurred, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Christopher L. Beschler said: “It's something we want to move on. … We don't want water damage in the building. It's not something I want to linger on.”

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