New windows for 100-year-old buildings on the U.S. Coast Guard’s SoCal base was a complicated project involving architectural details, supply-chain management, and asbestos abatement.
The U.S. Coast Guard base in San Pedro is an idyllic slice of old California: sun-splashed Spanish architecture, rolling green lawns, and swaying palm trees, all bordered by the Pacific Ocean. While the base has an essential modern-day function — as the Southern California center for maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations – it is also a significant part of the region’s architectural past.
All that was top of mind when Precision embarked on a $730,000 project to replace the windows in four historic buildings – one of which qualifies for the National Historic Register. Each of the 102 windows is different shape or size, with unusual configurations of panes and a wide range of problems. Some were
stuck in an open or closed position, others leaked water or whistled wind through corroded frames. A few were century-old originals. Most significantly: Precision’s preliminary assessment discovered traces of lead and asbestos, which required a specialty demolition and abatement process.
That meant office workers in the four, two-story buildings had to relocate during the asbestos abatement and demolition. Months of meticulous planning and scheduling displaced workers for only two to three weeks per building, minimizing the disruption to their work. Each of the buildings was completed in sequence and under tight communication among trades to ensure all materials were at hand, despite impending supply chain issues.
For buildings 40, 59, and 61, which have concrete and masonry construction, the existing windows and sashes were removed, extensive concrete patching and repair work was completed, and new insulated aluminum casement windows were installed. For the historic Building 10, which has wood frame
construction, the exterior and interior wood trim and sills were carefully preserved during demolition.
The new single-hung insulated windows – with exterior aluminum frames factory-painted to match the existing maroon paint color and maintain the historical look – were installed. The work on all four buildings was completed in collaboration with a Coast Guard architectural specialist in late 2021.