PITTSFIELD -- Replacement of some worn carpeting in the City Council office room at City Hall recently revealed elegant terrazzo flooring beneath, and the decision was quickly made to restore that surface instead.
"That carpeting needed to be replaced, and when they peeled it up they found this underneath," said city Director of Maintenance Peter Sondrini. "It was a hit."
Sondrini said Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi soon agreed to restore the surface throughout the hallways around the building's main entrance off Allen Street, which also revealed terrazzo under worn, glued-on carpeting.
The area stretches from the tax collector's office and mayor's office, around the hallway corner past the main entrance doors and the city clerk's office to the main stairway.
"We discovered that we had kind of an artistic terrazzo with red marble and found it was all through this wonderful old building," Bianchi said.
In addition, the mayor said, hardwood flooring is under carpeting through the rear-section hallways of the building, and those will be restored as well.
The city has received bids on restoration of the stone flooring, but that project has not yet been awarded.
"It was a beautiful installation when this was built as a federal building and post office," Bianchi said, adding that in 1910, when it opened, "they spared no expense in these buildings."
However, the restoration is expected to be cost effective for the city while working toward a long-range goal of fully restoring City Hall as a historic structure, Bianchi said. The maintenance department had been replacing carpeting in the heavily used hallways "every three, four, five years," he said, while the terrazzo flooring will last indefinitely and be much easier to maintain.
Hard-surface flooring also creates a healthier indoor environment, he said.
The terrazzo at City Hall is a composite created from marble chips spread over a cement base. After curing, the floor is then ground and polished to a smooth surface.
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