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JBSA-Randolph historic landmark gets facelift

| Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Oct. 12, 2016

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas —

The 502nd Civil Engineering Squadron is spearheading a project to restore windows and doors at the Taj Mahal to refurbish the appearance of the historic Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph landmark.

The project includes the restoration and rehabilitation of 100 windows and 15 exterior doors that date to the opening of the Taj Mahal in 1931, said Tom Moore, 502nd CES project manager.

Moore said the project, which started in September, is expected to be completed in early March 2017, weather depending.

The purpose of the project is to restore the windows and exterior doors to their original appearance and working condition, said Moore.

Dayna Cramer, 502nd CES cultural resources manager, said the $980,000 project is complying to the U.S. Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Preservation on historic buildings. The Taj Mahal is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is administered by the National Park Service and includes districts, structures, buildings and objects of significance in American history, architecture and archeology.

“Anytime we do any type of maintenance and or restoration, it’s just to make sure the historic building remains in use,” Cramer said. “The fact they are actually going in and doing this restoration work is a pretty good deal. The Taj Mahal is one of the more well-known buildings in the Air Force – it’s pretty high profile.”

Moore said the steel-cased single glazed windows will be removed, stripped and abated of any lead-based paint and asbestos. Project workers will then prime, repaint and reinstall the windows.

Any hardware on the windows, including latching and gears, will be repaired or replaced, Moore said.

Moore said the windows will maintain their 1930s-era appearance once the restoration process is completed.

“They will still be historical when they are completed,” he said. Work to the solid wood exterior doors will include stripping, refinishing and resealing and the replacement of one door, said Moore.

Moore said the restoration project will cause little disruption to the personnel who work in the Taj Mahal, which include the offices of the 12th Flying Training Wing and the 502nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group, including the Judge Advocate General and legal offices. Office personnel will still be working in their areas except when they will have to leave for safety reasons for project workers to remove or reinstall the windows.

Hallways and sections were exterior doors are being worked on will be blocked off, with detours directing individuals to other doors.

Moore said he has been coordinating the scheduling and phasing of the project with Tracey Powell, 502nd SFLSG deputy director of commander’s action and Taj Mahal facility manager.

Powell said she has met with the project manager and is keeping the active-duty and office personnel who work at the Taj Mahal informed on the project.

“We are trying to keep everybody informed and let them know what is going on and work with the contractor to ensure they have the access they need,” Powell said. “We are trying to work with everyone to make it as seamless as possible. Any minor inconvenient disruptions are miniscule compared to the benefits of restoring this historical building.”