WILMINGTON — Repairs are now under way to the architectural accents of Wilmington City Hall and Thalian Hall building — one of the oldest remaining public buildings in the city.
According to City of Wilmington Spokeswoman Malissa Talbert, scaffolding was being set up this week to remove for repair two types of accent pieces that are distinctive to the time the building was constructed in the 1850s.
Both the modillions – a type of supporting bracket – and the soffits, which are part of the underside of the roof structure, will be removed and crews will evaluate the amount of repairs needed, Talbert said in a news release.
“After the initial assessment and any needed repairs to the supporting roof structure are made, the soffits will be repainted and each one of the 124 modillions will be cleaned, repaired and repainted by hand and then reattached to the building with longer and larger bolts for safety purposes,” Talbert said. “Total cost estimates and time of completion are not yet known until the initial assessment has been completed.”
Many of the modillions date back to construction of the building – more than 160 years go – and are made of cast iron that weigh about 60 pounds each.
Any modillions that need to be replaced will be fabricated by Stewart Ironworks in Covington Kentucky, the manufacturer of the original modillions, Talbert said.
The foundry still has the original templates from the 1850s. City Hall/Thalian Hall, located at 102 N. Third St., is listed on the National Register for Historic Places and all repairs/improvements must meet strict guidelines to protect the historical integrity of the building.