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RECONSTRUCTION OF THE HISTORIC MARCHE EN FER (IRON MARKET)

Details

The Iron Market – Marche en Fe – had been a iconic national symbol of Haiti for over 120 years. Prefabricated in France by the celebrated engineers Baudet Donon & Cie, the iron structure was initially destined to serve as a railway station in Cairo but ended up in Haiti where it was constructed in 1891. Having suffered extensive fire damage in 2008 which destroyed the Market’s north hall, the market’s central section and part of its southern range suffered severe damage in the devastating January 2010 earthquake. In March 2010, ADG was authorized by Digicel to begin work on the $12 million restoration with a mandate to complete the work within a year. With no existing documents and most of the building destroyed or badly damaged, extensive field investigation and a careful evaluation of the complex structural details had to be undertaken. Old steel samples were brought back to US for material testing. Close inspection of the salvageable original materials allowed the historic character to remain. Other areas were either repaired or reconstructed using modern steel sections. Special techniques for welding of cast iron columns had to be employed. In order to preserve the new structure against future natural calamities, resistance against hurricane and earthquake forces, diagonal bracing was introduced using minimalist steel rods at critical locations and increasing foundation anchorages. ADG’s responsive style allowed on-time project completion, with an inauguration by President Bill Clinton on January 11, 2011.