FROM THE HILL
Mold Problems at Heart of Old East, Old West Work
Old East and Old West aren’t just
closed for the year. They are sight-unseen, wrapped from roof-to-foundation in green mesh that stands only a
few feet high around most campus construction sites. The concealment has to do
with the complicated process of removing
paint from the old bricks that are, essentially, all that remain of the 213-year-old
East and the 185-year-old West.
That paint is one of the reasons the
campus landmarks are undergoing complete renovation again after being gutted 15
years ago. They were lime-washed — never
painted — until 1993. The paint has contributed to a mold problem in both buildings by inhibiting their ability to “breathe,”
according to Paul Kapp, UNC’s former
historic preservation architect. He left
UNC earlier this year to teach at the University of Illinois.
The paint trapped moisture, Kapp
explained. “The other culprits [were] an
that did not address
humidity in the building
and chilled water pipes
that leaked in some connections and then ‘sweated’
in other areas,” Kapp wrote
in an e-mail message.
“Finally, the bathrooms
were never designed to
handle the steam coming
out of the showers and the
floors were not properly
designed or built to handle
all the water that came from
hundreds of showers per
All these conditions led
to water where it shouldn’t be, hence the mold
problem. “The moisture
trapped by the masonry paint was problematic to the two hundred and fifteen
year-old brick which fortunately was not crumbling, instead the trapped
moisture went to the sandstone sills — the weakest
component of the historic
brick walls — and they
In the current renovation, the sills that can’t be
saved will be replaced with
Pennsylvania bluestone, the
same used in the restoration of Gerrard Hall.
A lime wash will be
used on the exterior.
The roofs and heating
and air conditioning systems in both buildings will
be replaced, and bathrooms will be rebuilt to
route water better. They are expected to
reopen in fall 2009.
DAN SEARS ’ 74
Old East is in there somewhere,
wrapped from top to bottom for
the complicated job of removing
WILL OWENS ’ 88
is for big people
and little ones with
dreams, and Sunday, Oct. 12, was a
perfect day for all.
Holden Thorp ’ 86
spoke of a UNC
service to the state
and to taking care
of its people at his
installation as the
More coverage of
begins on page 8.
More than 250 alumni and family members lined up to represent alumni classes from 1940 to 2008, as well as current
students, in the University Day Alumni Processional, organized by the General Alumni Association.