By DON McINTOSH
The Harver Company, a union wall and ceiling contractor, walked away from a May 4-6 industry trade show with triple honors for the work done by members of Plasterers Local 82 on the Oregon Supreme Court building. At the 2023 Wall and Ceiling Conference and Trade Show in Huntington Beach, California, the job was awarded Project of the Year, Best of the West, and the People’s Choice Award chosen by attendees.
“I’m still blown away that we won all three awards,” said project manager Richard Almodovar the week after.
Almodovar thinks the Oregon Supreme Court project may have been the largest historical plaster restoration in decades. It took more than two years to complete. Hoffman Construction was the general contractor.
Above all, the challenge was to recreate elaborate ornamental features of the kind that used to be more common when the building was first constructed 109 years ago: corbels and cornices, greek key and lamb’s tongue moldings, grape friezes, and half a dozen varieties of rosettes. All told up to 27 plasterers at a time were employed installing more than 44,000 pounds of plaster, more than 4,000 linear feet of running molds, and more than 10,000 square feet of lath, none of it on flat walls. Now reopened as a working courthouse, the Oregon Supreme Court Building is a living museum of the ornate classical style that was in vogue when it was first constructed between 1911 and 1914. It’s the oldest building in the Capitol Mall. (Get a fuller glimpse of the project in a video at facebook.com/TheHarverCompany)