1737 S. Michigan Avenue

CTLGroup was retained by James McHugh Construction Company for an evaluation of the historic brick facade in the Historic Motor Row District of Chicago. Our firm identified the source(s) of moisture that was causing efflorescence to form on the interior, exposed brick masonry finish of the north, east, and west walls of the James McHugh Construction Company Headquarters. In the past, the efflorescence was removed and exterior surfaces repointed, however, with the reoccuring appearance of the efflorescence, McHugh wanted a cost efficient repair to reduce future reoccurance.

CTLGroup conducted a site inspection of the interior and exterior wythes of brick masonry, and the exterior acrylic coating on the north and west elevations of the building. Based on our observations, CTLGroup found that, while the acrylic coating on the brick initially reduced the rate of moisture absorption of the wall, the reoccurance was due to imperfections that appeared in the coating, causing it to fail, trapping moisture within the brick cladding. Our team recommended that the existing coating should be removed in order to identify and repair all areas of deteriorated masonry, and then sealed with a clear, breathable masonry sealer.


Buildings & Facilities

Consulting Services

Building Science

Structural Engineering + Evaluation

Non-Destructive Evaluation

Repair, Restoration, Retrofit

Structural Condition Assessment

Laboratory Services

Concrete + Cement-Based Materials

Coating Testing


This historic building was part of Chicago's Motor Row District from 1905-1936.

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Year Built


Area (Square Feet)


Height (Stories)

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