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Memorial Student Union at the University of Missouri

Historic Preservation


Originally designed by Jamieson & Spearl in 1926, the Memorial Union Tower was dedicated to the 117 University of Missouri alumni and students who lost their lives in World War I. The English Gothic structure is decorated with elaborate gargoyles, eagles, soldiers, emblems and other masonry carvings. After years of treating isolated issues, the University commissioned IAA to conduct a thorough historical investigation of the tower and its site, and devise a plan for its complete architectural restoration.

design solution

Our team prepared a meticulously-detailed plan to restore the tower. Decorative stone elements that had fallen off were reattached. Masonry tuck-pointing and innovative cleaning techniques were utilized. Stone pieces that were beyond repair were replaced with carefully selected alternatives picked from the same quarry as the original stones. The tower’s clock and bell, which had not been functional for years, were cleaned and restored. Spalled concrete on the deck below the bell was removed and repaired in order to ensure structural stability. Stained glass transoms were removed, cleaned and reinstalled. Windows were replaced with double-pane, energy-efficient ones. This helped to maintain the original, historic windows' narrow sightlines. All work ensured long-term cost savings for the University, and preservation of an important campus landmark.