United States Supreme Court Undergoes Facelift with Help from Merritt Graphics
HARTFORD, CT—January 30, 2013—Seven years after a chunk of marble fell to the ground and smashed on the stairs to its main entrance, the United States Supreme Court is under full renovations. The 77-year-old building made from white Vermont Imperial Danby marble is a significant structure, not only to the American justice system, but also to the tourist industry.
Among the many subcontractors hired to complete this reconstruction project was Joseph Merritt Co., based in Hartford, CT. The company’s large-format printing division, Merritt Graphics, headed the project Merritt’s president and CEO Ed Perry labeled a “mesh-scape.” In an attempt to preserve the austere appearance of the building while under construction, the damaged building was covered with a 38,000-square-foot mesh duplicate of the façade. The mesh was attached to scaffolding alongside and in front of the building.
The requirements for this mesh-scape were demanding and needed to be precise. Working with high-resolution photos provided by a government subcontractor, Merritt created a template to reproduce the images to exact size. The images were printed on multiple panels of Top Value Fabrics 8 ounce mesh. The panels, ranging from 81- to 110-feet in length, required exact measurements due to special cutaways at the bottom of the building. As a safety measure, the panels needed special pockets at the top for easy removal in case of inclement weather, including winds over 50 miles per hour. The panels were hot-air welded, and Merritt added vertical reinforced supports to the back of the panels to minimize potential stress caused by exterior elements.
Despite the demanding nature of this project, Merritt Graphics was up for the job. “We’ve been involved in several high-profile graphics projects, including a Perry Ellis building wrap on the Andaz West Hollywood (CA) Hotel; a national billboard campaign for Quiznos; and a national vehicle-branding campaign for Extra Space Storage,” Perry states. Of these high-visibility projects, the Supreme Court mesh has received the greatest amount of publicity. It was documented in many news reports and articles. To learn more about this project, read about it in the January Signs of the Times magazine. A copy of this article is also located on Merritt’s website (merrittgraphics.com).