Located on Symphony Circle in Buffalo, New York, Kleinhans Music Hall was constructed in 1940 through an endowment from the estate of Edward and Mary Kleinhans and a grant from the United States Public Works Administration. It was designed by renowned architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and since 1989, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark. Kleinhans Music Hall is home to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and it hosts events and musical performances in a wide variety of genres.
Up until the late 1970s, a variety of building materials contained asbestos. During construction and renovation procedures at Kleinhans Music Hall, workers applied and removed asbestos-containing acoustical plaster, pipe covering, insulating cement, block insulation and fireproof insulation. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases.
Acoustical plaster was applied to the ceilings and walls at Kleinhans Music Hall in order to reduce sound reverberation during performances. The plaster was manufactured as a dry powder, and it was mixed with water in order to prepare it for application. Mixing acoustical plaster with water caused asbestos dust to become airborne, which workers inhaled.
During the initial construction of Kleinhans Music Hall, workers applied asbestos-containing fireproof insulation to the building’s structural steel. The fireproof insulation utilized at Kleinhans was a mixture of asbestos, cement and linen. In order to apply the insulation, it was dumped into a machine, mixed with water and sprayed onto the structural steel with a hose. The fireproofing process created large clouds of asbestos dust and fibers, which remained airborne for days after the initial application. Additionally tradesmen, including carpenters, electricians and pipefitters, disturbed the fireproof insulation after it was applied in order to install framing studs, conduits or pipes. When the fireproof insulation was disturbed, asbestos dust became airborne.
Kleinhans Music Hall was heated by steam, which was produced in boilers. Pipes within the heating system were covered with asbestos-containing pipe covering and insulating cement. Asbestos block insulation covered the steam boilers. Asbestos-containing insulating cement was applied to pumps and valves. During maintenance or repairs to the heating system, workers removed worn asbestos insulation. New insulation was applied after the maintenance or repair procedures were completed. Applying and removing asbestos-containing insulation released asbestos dust into the air.
In the process of representing workers and their families, we have gathered a vast amount of information regarding the type and variety of asbestos-containing products to which our clients were exposed. Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one once worked in construction or maintenance at Kleinhans Music Hall and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us regarding your legal rights.