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Tarlton Corp. Garners 2019 JLT Build America Award for Sachs Museum

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Museum Building addition entrance and original Museum Building.

Tarlton Corporation, a St. Louis-based general contracting and construction management firm, has won one of the construction industry’s highest honors – the 2019 JLT Build America Award.

The award recognizes Tarlton’s work on the $8 million restoration project of the Stephen and Peters Sachs Museum for the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. The project was chosen from a highly competitive field of entries nationwide.

The JLT Build America Award is sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America, the nation’s largest and oldest construction trade association. For more than 30 years, the Build America Award has recognized AGC members that build the nation’s most impressive construction projects ranging across building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure and federal and heavy divisions. The awards were presented April 2 at the AGC’s 100th annual national convention in Denver. Accepting the award on Tarlton’s behalf were Sondra Rotty and Joshua Fisk, project director and project manager, respectively, for the Sachs Museum project, along with Scott Green, manager of construction technology, and Tracy Hart, president. Additional members of the Tarlton team on the winning project were Andrew Kovarik, project executive; Brian Julius, project engineer; Dustin Norton, project superintendent; and Cameron Beattie and Greg Sweeso, preconstruction.

The Build America Awards program honors the “best of the best” among construction projects nationwide. Build America recipients are selected by a panel of a contractor’s toughest critics – other contractors. Judges look for projects that have “excelled in state-of-the-art advancement; project management; innovation in construction techniques or use of materials; safety; client service; community relations; environmental sensitivity and partnering.”

“Recognition by one’s peers is one of the highest honors a general contractor can receive,” said Hart. “We are proud of the skill, teamwork and spirit of the Tarlton team on the restoration of the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum – widely considered one of the most historically significant buildings in the Midwest. In addition, the award represents the collaboration of the project owner and stakeholders who share our passion for construction, core principles and values that helped guide the complex, multi-faceted construction process – resulting in a restored building that makes a lasting contribution to the community.”

Tarlton’s work on the 7,000-square-foot Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum, an iconic pre-Civil War structure on the grounds of the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden, won in the “Building Renovation Under $10 million” category. The museum, which was opened in 1859 by St. Louis businessman and philanthropist Henry Shaw, served as the Garden’s first scientific research facility, library and herbarium of more than 62,000 specimens. The building had been closed to the public for more than three decades prior to the renovation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Working with project architect Christner Inc., Tarlton’s scope of work included an aggressive schedule, unforeseen conditions and an unexpected discovery during the demolition of a plaster drop ceiling: the paintings of three noted botanists on a barrel-vault ceiling hidden above the false ceiling in a room adjacent to the main exhibit hall. The discovery temporarily halted work while conservators from EverGreene Architectural Arts in Brooklyn, N.Y., worked on the careful restoration.

In the main exhibit hall, construction and artistry worked side by side as the Tarlton team restored historic finishes, completed structural improvements and erected scaffolding to allow EverGreene art conservators to access the ceiling two stories up. There, they undertook the painstaking replication of a painted botanical mural spanning 12 separate panels overhead.

To usher visitors into the building, Tarlton built a modern 2,000-square-foot addition that provides accessibility to the museum and houses public amenities. The two-story addition’s glass curtainwall provides occupants with a feeling of being surrounded by nature and was designed in accordance with preservation principles outlined by the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and the U.S. National Park Service.

Tarlton’s restoration of the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum marks the firm’s fifth Build America Award in recent history. In 2015, Tarlton won for its work on the $90 million LEED® Gold Olin Business School expansion project at Washington University in St. Louis; in 2008, for the historic renovation of a former Maplewood church into new headquarters for Moosylvania, an independent advertising and promotions agency; and in 2007, for the critical first phase of the Cross County MetroLink expansion. In 2003, Tarlton received a Merit Award for its work on the Ameren Missouri Coal Transfer Terminal.

The Tarlton team that worked on the Sachs Museum also garnered a 2018 Construction Keystone Award from the AGC of Missouri for its work on the project. The AGC of Missouri, affiliated with AGC of America, represents approximately 550 construction and construction-related firms in the state of Missouri that perform building, highway and infrastructure construction.

St. Louis-based Tarlton Corp. is a Midwest leader in general contracting and construction management. The firm has completed many landmark projects in and around St. Louis and holds steadfast to its goal to improve the lives of St. Louisans through construction, civic involvement and philanthropy. In business since 1946, Tarlton Corp. is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that completes projects for wide-ranging clients in the life science, higher education, health care, commercial, power and industrial markets. Tarlton also has special expertise in concrete construction, restoration, repair and maintenance.

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