Ashlar LC, the owners of this historic property designed by John G. Haskell, had known for a few years that the stone foundation under the original structure built in 1870 (addition in 1905), had been shifting due to seasonal changes in subsoil moisture, and that some perimeter interior plaster walls were being damaged by moisture penetrating the foundation below ground level and wicking up. What Mary Anderson and her adult sons John and Alex saw last summer, however, after a particularly prolonged dry period, was significantly worse. There was a large crack at the northwest corner, and some of the window glass in that area had actually separated from the frames. The building that Mary’s mother, Olive Stanford, and Mary’s husband, Tripp Anderson, had worked so hard in the early 1990s to save and adapt to a new use as legal offices needed a major foundation repair.
After consulting with family friend Craig Patterson, Mary hired Integrity Building Group (Roger Halverstadt) as general contractor for a project that also included Powerlift Foundation, a Texas firm, and Creative Sculpture & Restoration for stone repair.
Extensive excavation last fall allowed workers to install a new concrete footing poured in alternating three-foot sections. Next to the foundation, about 45 helical piles were driven to a depth at or near bedrock. A hydraulic system was installed to transfer vertical building loads from the old foundation to the new piers and bedrock. A waterproofing membrane was installed on the outside face of the foundation and a drainage system was constructed. New subgrade collection basins and drain pipes were installed, and interior repairs to all moisture-damaged areas were completed. This expensive project was helped by the use of both federal and state tax credits for repair of historic structures.
Lawrence is so fortunate that members of the Stanford and Anderson families have stepped up, twice now, to save the old English Lutheran Church as a cultural landmark in our city. Mary, John and Alex know that they, like Tripp before them, have gone above and beyond to protect one of Olive’s favorite historic buildings and the legacy she established in part by saving it.