Rostral Columns – Union Station, Washington, DC

Aeon evaluated and designed the restoration of two sets of large historic ornamental cast-iron columns, lamp posts, and granite balustrades located in Columbus Plaza directly in front of Union Station in Washington, D.C.  Union Station was designed by Daniel Burnham and erected in 1908. The Plaza was constructed in 1912. The ornamental ironwork was fabricated by the Chicago Ornamental Iron Company. The columns are known as “Rostral Columns,” which in antiquity, were used to celebrate great naval accomplishments and which incorporated the bronze ram or hull ornament from vanquished ships.

The first stage of the project involved digital laser scanning of the columns and modeling to create CAD base drawings. The columns and lampposts were surveyed in detail from a self-propelled manlift. All surfaces were photo-documented and all visible fastener locations mapped out. Casting interiors were also photographed with a hand-held camera as well as a mounted GoPro camera with an independent LED light array to see into concealed areas.

Aeon provided quality control and performed specialty cleaning during construction. The selected team included The Christman Company, UBER, and Robinson Iron.  The lampposts were disassembled and shipped to Alexander City, Alabama for restoration.  The base was cleaned by Aeon with Quintec Rotec Micro-Abrasive System. Once our teaming partners completed restoration of the columns, lampposts, and masonry in January 2017.  

Aeon Preservation Services