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Hoover Tower

Hoover Tower

Constructed between 1939 and 1941, the 285-foot tall Hoover Tower is the tallest building on Stanford University’s campus and stands as one of its most prominent landmarks. Built to house the Herbert Hoover Library of War and Peace, the building is a steel frame structure encased in concrete with concrete floor plates. The tower features an observation deck and domed roof that is clad with red clay tile. The red tile and buff gold-colored cement stucco cladding references the colored sandstone and Mission styles of the original campus architecture re-envisioned in the Moderne style.

ARG Conservation Services (ARG/CS) was retained by Stanford University in a design/build capacity to clean and repair the exterior of Hoover Tower. As the design-build contractor, ARG/CS organized a multi-disciplinary team of conservators, architects, engineers, and construction professionals. This team was critical in developing a thorough and historically-sensitive approach.

The project began with on-site investigation, testing, and mock-ups that were completed to better understand the building’s construction, material properties and anticipated aesthetics. Extensive testing was undertaken to develop a patching material that matched the original pigmented stucco in color and physical characteristics. Access to the tower’s exterior proved to be a logistical challenge. A specially designed system that combined fixed scaffolding and swing stage rigs allowed the trades to work on the building and meet tight deadlines for the University. Using this access, ARG/CS was able to complete the cleaning of the facades, repair cracks in the stucco, patch concrete, repair and repaint the building’s steel windows and perform treatment of the Observation deck and dome.

The long-term care of the building was addressed through the design of zinc flashing to inhibit the return of organic growth. Through the collaborative efforts of the general contractor, engineer, skille




Stanford University


Stanford, California


Design-Build, Finishes, Maintenance, Restoration