Stability Engineering – Structural Engineering Services

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Loray Mill, Gastonia NC

About the Project

Stability has worked on several iterations of the adaptation of Loray Mill for use as loft apartments and commercial spaces. Built in the early 1900s, this former mill was central to the textile industry at that time. It was originally constructed using solid brick masonry exterior walls and heavy timber floor systems. We love working on these historic structures which provide a much-appreciated glimpse of the construction techniques used before steel and concrete became the go-to materials for industrial buildings. Unfortunately, the historic materials were also highly susceptible to water and termite damage. We surveyed the structural damage at each stage of the renovation to determine which structural members required replacement or reinforcement. Steel plates and channels were used to stiffen areas with partial damage, which allowed many of the original timbers to be retained. The masonry walls, generally in good shape for their age, were repaired using cleaning and repointing procedures. We then modified the building structure by adding elevators and stairways, and opened up sections of the floor to create an expansive two-story central hallway.

The Library of Congress called the mill a “nationally significant example of textile mill construction and technological innovation in the South during the early twentieth century,” and Loray Mill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.