Top 8 Most Expensive Building Remodels in History
Remodeling a building is a fun and exciting experience; at the same time it can transform living and working spaces in a big way. This is why building renovations are popular across the world. Here we’ve picked our Top 8 Most Expensive Building Remodels in History to inspire you to create your own residential remodeling ventures.
1. Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia
The Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia, one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in the world, has suffered a lot of damage over the last few centuries. This remodeling project took place June 2008 to September 2011 and it was sponsored by the government of Italy and the APSARA National Authority. The combined cost of this building renovation was about $1.20 million.
2. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge’s remodeling included the painting of all its cables, and this was the first time it was painted since the bridge opened in 1937. Also, a four-foot public safety railing was added between 2001 and 2003 to make it more accessible for visitors. Another important part of this building renovation was to make this iconic bridge more resistant to earthquakes.
3. Brady Theater, Tulsa
The Brady Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is one of the most historic places in the region and was built in 1914 as a center for performing arts. Since its completion, it was remodeled in 1930 and 1952 to increase the viewing areas. In 1930, Bruce Goff, the world-famous architect was hired for this building renovation and he worked mostly on the interiors. In 1952, additions were made to the structure, and two lobbies were added. At an estimated cost of $22 million, the Brady Theater is definitely one of the most expensive building remodels in history.
4. St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
One of the biggest landmarks in London. the St. Paul’s Cathedral took 15 years to renovate and cost approximately $63.5 million. Martin Stancliffe was the chief architect and he supervised the remodeling of the western end of the cathedral that was mired in dirt and dust. This building now has an educational center and the entire cathedral is handicap accessible.
5. Department of State, Washington D.C.
The Department of State was remodeled in 1956 to make room for the expanding services and employees. It was renovated to add 1,040,000 square feet—four times the size of the initial building. Four square blocks were annexed and eight floors were built at approximately $52,720,000. When this building renovation was completed in 1961 it was one of the biggest projects of that time.
6. Grand Central Station, New York City
The Grand Central Station in New York City is a prominent building that underwent remodeling from 1994 to 1998 and cost nearly $100 million. The architect, STV, restored the ceiling in the main concourse, the staircase on the eastern balcony, pedestrian ramps, retail space and storefronts.
7. Empire State Building, New York City
In 2009, the Empire State Building underwent a massive sustainability retrofit at $550 million. Remodeling contractors W&H Properties renovated the art deco lobby and the entire observatory and also installed state-of-the-art technology throughout the building. Energy-saving features include refurbished windows (all 6,000-plus), installing insulation behind all radiators, retrofitted chiller plant and new building management systems controls. Too read about other energy-efficient buildings, check out our list of Top 7 Energy-Efficient “Green” Buildings.
8. The Pentagon, Arlington
The Pentagon had to be remodeled after the 9/11 attacks. More than 15,000 cubic feet of stone was added to this building at a price tag of $700 million, making it the world’s biggest office building and one of the most expensive building remodels in history.
Do these building renovations inspire you to work on your own residential makeover? What other pricey building remodels would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!