Connecting you to the composites industry


Composites Help Miami’s Freedom Tower Shine Again

  • Friday, 2nd February 2001
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

The Freedom Tower, a 75-year-old architectural landmark and enduring symbol of resilience in the face of adversity, looms large over the Miami’s skylne. Built in 1925, the sixteen-story stucco office tower is a prime example of Spanish Renaissance revival style, and is said to be modeled after the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain. In later years the structure became Miami’s “Ellis Island,” where 400,000 Cuban refugees were processed between 1962 and 1974. In 1997, the Cuban American National Foundation acquired the building, with plans for a complete renovation to serve as a museum and library commemorating the Cuban refugee experience. But by then, both the building’s aesthetics and its structural elements were in severely degraded condition. The engineering firm of Donnell Duquesne & Albaisa was selected to deal with the many structural challenges faced by the building. Early, primitive concrete construction methods had sowed the seeds of destruction within the building’s columns, beams and soffits. An improper mix of ingredients in the structural concrete had resulted in a high degree of cast-in caustic chlorides, exacerbated by the ravages of the prevailing saltwater air. The resulting delamination, cracks and spalled concrete created an environment where the reinforcement steel rebars were exposed to the elements and corroding. DD&A tapped Structural Preservation Systems, Inc., a national contractor specializing in structural concrete repair and strengthening, to perform the challenging structural repairs required. Column, slab and beam repairs were required throughout the Freedom Tower structure, including concrete-encased I-beams on certain floors. As with the columns, many beams required full-depth replacement. Some were enlarged to withstand the additional load-bearing requirements via the use of MBrace(R), a composite strengthening system made up of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. The Freedom Tower restoration is expected to be completed in Fall 2001. For further information on the project, e-mail

For more information visit:

Share this article

More News

Comments (0)

Sign in or create an account to join in the discussion.

Leave your comment


Upcoming Events




Follow us
Subscribe to our email newsletter

Subscribe to receive our weekly round-up of all the industry's latest news, jobs, events and more!

We'll always keep your personal details secure and will never share them with third parties for marketing purposes. You can unsubscribe at any time. For further details on how we may use your data, please visit our Privacy Policy.