CONSTRUCTION HISTORY IN ARCHITECTURAL CONSERVATION: THE EXPOSED AGGREGATE, REINFORCED CONCRETE OF MERIDIAN HILL PARK
5 DISSEMINATION: WORK OF OTHER CONCRETE CONTRACTORS, 1919–1936
Other Washington, D.C.–based contractors constructed the majority of the remaining concrete work at Meridian Hill Park based on the experimentation and development of new techniques by Earley and the Earley Studio. Quite possibly these firms, including Fred Drew Company and Charles Tompkins Company, produced new techniques to solve the design problems they encountered. One such technique designed by later contractors was the use of molasses to coat the molds to increase the set of the concrete so that forms could be stripped more rapidly (Mann 1981). According to Horace Peaslee, one of the achievements of Meridian Hill Park was the dissemination of these techniques to other concrete contractors. In 1930, he wrote that “although this work was originated with the experimentation of one Washington contractor, the knowledge of the process has spread so that a number of men are available for bidding and each seems to be able to improve upon the preceding work” (Peaslee 1930a, 32). Few documents survive to attest to the skill and ingenuity of these contractors in placing the concrete work at Meridian Hill Park.