Sessions at the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Fall Convention, Oct. 26 to 30, in Washington D.C. will highlight the legacy and distinctive work of architectural concrete and ACI pioneer John Earley, according to the institute. A guided bus tour and a walking tour will supplement sessions by providing a look at some of Earley’s concrete projects in the D.C. area.
Earley was ACI’s first ‘contractor’ president in 1938, and was a member for 28 years, serving on the Architectural Concrete of the Exposed Aggregate Type Committee. Elected an honorary member in 1943, he was the originator of the ‘Earley Plastic Mosaic.’ According to the institute, 20 buildings In Washington D.C., harbor one or more of his mosaics. Earley was the contractor for the Meridian Hill Park Project and craftsman for many other Washington D.C. area projects, including mosaic ceilings in the U.S. Department of Justice Building and the Shrine of the Sacred Heart.
"Celebrating 100 Years of John Joseph Earley" and the Earley Studio Work Sessions will take place Oct. 27 to Oct. 28. The sessions will enable attendees to appreciate concrete aesthetics, recognize John Earley’s work, understand the restoration of his projects and learn about the history of construction, according to the institute. Presentations will include:
• Meridian Hill Park, Masterwork in Exposed Aggregate: Who Gets Credit?
• John Earley’s Mosaic Art – Saints, Dinosaurs and Battle Ships
• “Everyone is Seeking Security” John Earley and Basil Taylor’s Polychrome Houses
• The Development of the “Earley Process”
• Restoration of the Edison Memorial Tower
• Repairing Old Concrete at Meridian Hill Park, Washington DC
• Secrets of John Earley’s Mosaic Concrete in the Baha’i Temple
On Sunday, Oct. 26, attendees can take the Meridian Hill Park Walking Tour. Tour participants will walk to nearby Meridian Hill Park, which features many works of Earley. Meridian Hill Park is an historic resource for its craftsmanship and the integrity of its built elements, according to the institute. It uses exposed aggregate concrete for architectural expression and is a neoclassical park design in the U.S. Five different textures of scrubbed aggregate were required to be placed monolithically with each other and with structural concrete in the same place.
On Wednesday, Oct. 29, a guided bus tour will highlight Earley’s legacy of distinctive work in Washington D.C. This tour will take participants on a guided motor coach tour with stops to visit outstanding Earley Studio projects in the nation's capital. Bryan Blundell will tell the history of Earley's innovation and highlight distinctive features at Meridian Hill Park, the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, the Polychrome Houses, and the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America. These projects illustrate the work done in concrete nearly 100 years ago.
Additional Convention highlights include:
• The Opening Session and Katharine and Bryant Mather Commemorative Lecture Series.
• Two student competitions, including the newly Student Egg Protection Device Competition in which students will strive to protect their eggs through design and fabrication of a concrete reinforcing cage. A Fresh Mortar Workability Competition will also challenge students to create an ideal mixture to flow through a tortuous ACI logo mold as well as the mixture's ability to remain free of segregation.
• International Lunch – Guest speaker Man-Chung Tang will discuss concrete bridges in China.
• Contractors’ Day Lunch during which Keith Couch of Clark Construction, and Gwyon Nelson of Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. will discuss Phase Two of the Dulles Metrorail Extension.
For more information, visit aciconvention.org.