Pioneering Keast & Hood structural engineer, historic preservationist retires after 58 years.
Carl A. Baumert, Jr., PE, structural engineer and historic preservationist, who worked with Keast & Hood for nearly 60 years, will formally retire in a celebration 14 November 2014 at the Union League of Philadelphia.
Baumert joined Keast & Hood in 1956, soon after the company was founded in 1953. He served as principal from 1963 to 1995, and as senior consultant from 1995 until earlier this year. In nearly six decades with the firm, Baumert directed the structural engineering of major new building and renovation projects, including participation as the lead structural consultant on the multi-disciplinary restoration team for Philadelphia City Hall.
“Carl’s technical proficiency, creativity, and penchant for history have left a lasting impression on the design and construction community in Philadelphia and at large,” says Keast & Hood Principal Constantine (Dean) Doukakis, PE. “He probably has more structural knowledge about Philadelphia buildings – especially City Hall – than any other living building professional.”
Baumert worked on some of the region’s most recognizable structures, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art main and Perelman Buildings, City Hall, University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, and the Union League of Philadelphia; for each of these repeat clients, Baumert provided engineering design for new construction, renovations, and historic preservation. He also provided structural engineering for construction of the J.C. Penney store on Market Street, renovation of historic SEPTA rail stations throughout the region, and for recent renovations at 1650 Arch Street.
“Carl’s expertise is legendary among Philadelphia architects,” says Keast & Hood Principal Frederick C. Baumert, PE, CCS, who followed his father into the profession and firm. “He quietly impacted standards for how buildings are assessed and rehabilitated and he has always been willing to share his knowledge and experiences with colleagues and staff.”
Early in his career, Baumert developed an interest in historic buildings and in solving challenges facing their structures and exterior envelopes. He was appointed to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Committee on the Assessment and Rehabilitation of Buildings in 1982. As part of the committee, Baumert participated in the development and writing of landmark standards for building condition assessment: SEI/ASCE 11: Guideline for Structural Condition Assessment of Existing Buildings and SEI/ASCE 30: Guideline for the Condition Assessment of the Building Envelope, serving as chair for production of the latter. continued When Philadelphia building owners undertake a façade inspection, the guidelines Carl helped write are likely informing the inspector’s report.
Baumert has spoken and written for organizations including the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, National Science Foundation, Traditional Buildings Conference, and STRUCTURE magazine. He is a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has held memberships in the American Society for Testing and Materials, Association for Preservation Technology International, Delaware Valley Association of Structural Engineers, and American Institute of Steel Construction.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Baumert earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1951-1953 at Fort Belvoir, Va., and in Korea where he was a platoon commander and battalion recon officer. At the time of his retirement, Carl was a registered professional engineer in 14 states.