Stone Restoration Revitalizes Iconic Kogod Courtyard at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Stone restoration including stone floor cleaner & stone floor sealer revitalizes the granite flooring at the iconic Kogod Courtyard in the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.


From Presidents and first ladies, to the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, to the icons of American culture, the National Portrait Gallery brings visitors face to face with over 15,000 works depicting the men and women who have shaped the United States into what it is today.

The Gallery shares the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The building welcomed 1.3 million guests in 2017.

Originally begun in 1836 as home to the U.S. Patent Office, this exceptional Greek Revival structure is one of the oldest public buildings in Washington, DC. Its Great Hall was the site of Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration, and poet Walt Whitman tended to ailing soldiers here during the Civil War.

Careful maintenance is needed to maintain a proper environment for housing such an important collection of historic works, and to create a welcoming environment for everyone who enters the facility.

Recently, when it was time to refurbish 27,000 square feet of stone flooring in the building’s popular Kogod Courtyard, the Smithsonian turned to the stone restoration experts at Mid America Specialty Services.

Kogod Courtyard

Opened in 2007, the Kogod Courtyard was designed by award-winning, London-based architects Foster + Partners.

A mesmerizing, wavy glass ceiling lets in breathtaking natural light while protecting visitors from the elements.

It’s the perfect space for enjoying live performances, savoring a delicious meal at the Courtyard Cafe, or taking a leisurely stroll on the black flame-cut granite floor between sections of this National Historic Landmark facility.

Stone Floor Restoration for Flame Cut Granite

A wide array of available finishes has made granite a perennial favorite for historic landmarks, business facilities and private homes alike.

With its characteristic thin roughness and slip resistant texture, flame-cut granite is a great choice for outdoor areas and high-traffic facilities like the Kogod Courtyard .

Its unique appearance comes from directly exposing the granite to a high-temperature flame, causing the surface to become rough, unlike polished granite which shows off the highest level of shine available.

This unique granite finish also requires a high level of care from experienced stone restoration experts. For technicians from Mid America Specialty Services, the scope of the work included cleaning and sealing the flame-cut black granite throughout the Gallery’s spacious Kogod Courtyard.

Learn more about our museum and government building restoration services.

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