O’Donnell & Naccarato provided structural design and restoration services to convert the National Historic Landmark Philadelphia Inquirer Building into the Philadelphia Police Department’s new 468,000 SF headquarters. The 18-story, Beaux-Arts style architectural terra cotta and brick clad tower was completed in 1924 and served as the newspaper’s editorial and printing HQ until 2011. The building remained vacant for over 6 years before the major adaptive reuse project got underway. The revitalized and significantly upgraded public services facility will house Police headquarters, Districts 6 and 9, a detention center, police and fire call center, medical examiner labs and morgue, and department offices.
Structural restoration began with an extensive condition assessment that involved a rope access investigation of the historic facade and clock tower and removal of concrete in numerous interior locations to expose the encased steel structure. In order for the tower to meet current seismic and wind loads required by current code a new lateral load resisting system and various reinforcements were introduced to the existing structure. Many alterations were needed to accommodate the building’s new use, including new dunnage framing and reinforcement of existing mechanical equipment framing, new floor penetrations and floor infills, a detailed live load analysis and reinforcement for areas of significant loading, new elevators and stairs, modifications to existing elevators, ground-level entry upgrades, a single-story addition at the lower level, and repair recommendations for deteriorated concrete encasement at the steel superstructure and exterior of the building.
Concrete encased steel frame