The latest news on New York architecture.


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Gramercy Neighborhood Associates Inc.

Annual GNA Meeting and Celebration of Gramercy January 26, 2011 Annual Celebration of Gramercy event will be held on Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 at 6:30pm at the Brotherhood Synagogue on Gramercy Park. O. Aldon James, current President of The National Arts Club on Gramercy Park, will be our guest speaker. 

Annual Gramercy building restoration award will be announced in addition to the winners of our Annual Photography Contest at the event.

Celebration of Gramercy GNA photo contest winner!

Go to GNA

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GNA Award of Excellence

GNA Award of Excellence was presented to 38 Gramercy and Scott Henson at Brotherhood Synagogue on January 26, 2011.  

Dear Awards Committee, I am writing this letter to support the nomination of Scott Henson Architect for the restoration of 38 Gramercy Park North. In support of this project, I would like to highlight the opportunity the restoration project has taken to engage the design of the building with the historic character of the streetscape and neighborhood, and the positive effect the restoration of this once deteriorating building has had on the community. Under the guidance of Scott Henson Architect, the design for the altered facade addressed not only the historic aesthetic but accommodated the modern adaption of itsuse. As a result, Scott Henson Architect has found a balance between merging historic authenticity with modern practicalities. This effort was recognized at our annual "Celebration of Gramercy" held at Brotherhood Synagogue where an Award of Excellence was presented to 38 Gramercy and Scott Henson. Sincerely, Alan Krevis President Gramercy Neighborhood Associateds Inc.



Go to GNA Go to 38 Gramercy

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2011 AIA Tri State Design Award Winner!

We are proud to announce our project “648 Broadway, New York, New York” was selected for a 2011 AIA Tri-State Design Award for Historic Preservation.

Go to AIA Tri-State Design Award

We are proud to announce our project "648 Broadway, New York, New York" was selected for a 2011 AIA New York State Design Award for Historic Preservation. We will be recognized during the President's Dinner and Design Awards Presentation on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at the Tri-State Convention in Atlantic City, NJ.  


2011 AIANYS Design Award Jury Meetsda jury

The 2011 AIANYS Design Award jury met June 8-9 at the 74 State Hotel in Albany to review the Design Award portfolios and choose the recipients. The Design Awards will be presented during the convention at the AIANYS Dinner and Design Awards Presentation on Wednesday, September 21 at Bally's. The names of all of the Design Award recipients are below. We would like to thank all of the jury members for their time and hard work.      Pictured (left to right): Robert Shibley, FAIA, Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo; Robert M. Noblett, AIA, Partner, Benisch Arkitekten, Boston, MA; Michael Ryan, AIA, Michael Ryan Architects, Loveladies, NJ; Elizabeth Egbert, President & CEO, Staten Island Museum, Staten Island, NY (Public Member) and David Mark Riz, AIA, Principal, KieranTimberlake, Philadelphia, PA (Jury Chair).

2011 AIANYS Design Award Recipients      AIANYS is pleased to announce the 2011 Design Award recipients. They will all be recognized during the President's Dinner and Design Awards Presentation on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at Bally's in Atlantic City, NJ. There are three levels of awards: Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Citation for Design. A "Best in New York State" Award has also been awarded. The recipient of that award will be revealed at the Design Awards Presentation.      The design categories are: Adaptive Reuse; Commercial/Industrial, Large Projects and Small Projects; Historic Preservation; Institutional; Interiors; International; Residential, Large Projects and Small Projects; Unbuilt and Urban Planning/Design. A four-color Design Awards book featuring photos, narratives and jury comments of all of the award-winning projects will be sent out to all AIANYS members in the Fall after the convention.      Congratulations to all of the recipients! ADAPTIVE REUSE Awards of Merit: El Museo Del Barrio, New York, New York, Gruzen Samton Architects, LLP, New York, New York Orchestra of St. Luke's DiMenna Center, New York, New York, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, New York, New York Wyckoff Exchange, Brooklyn, New York, Andre Kikoski Architect, PLLC, New York, New York Citation for Design: East Hampton Town Hall, East Hampton, New York, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, New York, New York COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL-LARGE PROJECTS  Awards of Merit: The Bridge, Bridgehampton, New York, Roger Ferris + Partners, Westport, Connecticut Comcast Center, Philadelphia, Pensylvania, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP New York, New York, Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc., Houston, Texas, Associate Architect Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, Brooklyn, New York, Ennead Architects, New York, New York, Design Architect, Greeley-Hansen, New York, New York, Architects/Engineers of Record, Hazen & Sawyer, New York, New York, Architects/Engineers of Record, Malcolm Pirnie, White Plains, New York, Architects/Engineers of Record COMMERCIAl/INDUSTRIAL-SMALL PROJECTS  Award of Excellence: Marc Jacobs Flagship Building, Tokyo, Japan, Jaklitsch/ Gardner Architects PC, New York, New York, Creative Designers International Tokyo, Japan, Architect of Record-Building Shell, D. Brain Co., LTD, Tokyo, Japan, Architect of Record-Interiors HISTORIC PRESERVATION Award of Excellence: Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange, New Jersey, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, New York, New York Citations for Design: 648 Broadway, New York, New York, Scott Henson Architect LLC, New York, New York New York Public Library, Exterior Restoration, New York, New York, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., New York, New York INSTITUTIONAL Award of Excellence: Cornell Plantations Welcome Center, Ithaca, New York, Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, Toronto, Canada Awards of Merit: New York City Fire Department, Bronx, New York, Ennead Architects, New York, New York The Stephen Sondheim Theatre, New York, New York, Cook + Fox Architects, LLP New York, New York, Adamson Associates Architects, New York, New York, Executive Architect Citations for Design: Union County Juvenile Detention Center, Linden, New Jersey, Ricci Greene Associates, New York, New York United States Land Port of Entry, Calais, Maine, Robert Siegel Architects, New York, New York    INTERIORS Award of Excellence: Inverted Warehouse/Townhouse, New York, New York, Dean/Wolf Architects, New York, New York Award of Merit: Grey Group, New York, New York, STUDIOS Architecture, New York, New York Citation for Design: Infinity Chapel, New York, New York, Hanrahan Meyers Architects, LLP, New York, New York INTERNATIONAL Award of Excellence: Taichung InfoBox, Taichung, Taiwan, Stan Allen Architect Brooklyn, New York, W.B. Huang Architects & Planners, Taichung City, Taiwan, Associate Architect RESIDENTIAL-LARGE PROJECTS Award of Merit: The Schermerhorn, Common Ground Community, Brooklyn, New York, Ennead Architects, New York, New York Citation for Design: William Beaver House, New York, New York, Tsao & McKown Architects, New York, New York, Design Architect, SLCE Architects, New York, New York, Architect of Record RESIDENTIAL-SMALL PROJECTS Award of Merit: House for "Locavore" Farmers, Geyserville, California, Cooper Joseph Studio, New York, New York, Richardson Architects, Mill Valley, California, Associate Architect UNBUILT Citations for Design: Bike Hanger, (location unavailable), Jeeyong An, AIA, Manifesto Architecture PC, New York, New York St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn, New York, Geoff Lynch, AIA, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, New York, New York URBAN PLANNING DESIGN Award of Excellence: SandRidge Commons, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Rogers Marvel Architects, New York, New York Award of Merit: Zipper Park Bench System,New York, New York, WXY architecture + urban design, New York, New York Citation for Design: MTA Flood Mitigation, Queens, New York, Rogers Marvel Architects, New York, New York, Di Domenico + Partners, Long Island City, New York


William Menking reports for The Architect's NewspaperBrooklyn Dominates 2014 Municipal Art Society MASterworks Awards.



For over 120 years, the Municipal Art Society has been an important organization in New York City’s efforts to promote a more livable environment and preserve the best of its past. It’s successful preservation campaigns and advocacy for better architecture—whether its advocacy to rebuild a better Penn Station or TKTK—are well known. Now the organization has announced its annual MASterworks Awards, and of the nine buildings selected this year as honorees, six are in Brooklyn, confirming that borough’s continuing upgrading evolution.



The Weeksville Heritage Center (Caples Jefferson Architects) has won the top honor, “Best New Building,” while “Best Restoration” goes to the Englehardt Addition, Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory(Scott Henson Architect). The “Best Neighborhood Catalyst” award will be given to the BRIC Arts Media House & Urban Glass (LEESER Architecture), and “Best New Urban Amenity” will go to LeFrak Center at Lakeside (Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects). Brooklyn Bridge Park (Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates) will be recognized as “Best Urban Landscape.”



Additionally, this year’s MASterworks also recognized two new design categories. “Best Adaptive Reuse” will be awarded to The Queens Museum (Grimshaw Architects) and the NYC DDC Zerega Avenue Emergency Medical Services Building (Smith-Miller Hawkinson Architects) will take home the award for “Best New Infrastructure.”



Finally, “Best Green Design Initiative” honors will be given to Edible Schoolyard at P.S. 216 (WORKac) and P.S. 261 School and Community Playground (SiteWorks Landscape Architecture). The MASterworks Awards, recognize projects completed in the preceding year that exemplify excellence in architecture and urban design and make a significant contribution to New York’s built environment.  

PROJECT Bleecker+Bond Building, New York, NY
ARCHITECT Scott Henson Architect, LLC, New York, NY; Scott Henson, principal

By Eve M. Kahn

Victorian cast-iron façades were the first curtain walls, maximizing natural light and column-free interior space. When poorly maintained, they can become unstable sieves. Scott Henson, the head of a five-person preservation architecture firm in New York City, Scott Henson Architect, LLC, spent part of the past four years overseeing the disassembly and reconstruction of a ten-story sieve.

The cast-iron 1890s front of 648 Broadway, in Manhattan's trendy NoHo neighborhood, has been brought back from the brink of crumbling to watertight and structurally secure status. The longtime owners originally hired Henson just to inspect the façade after a chunk of cast iron fell, but the assignment grew into a $1.2 million overhaul. Tenants can now gaze across NoHo's higgledy-piggledy water towers through noise-blocking double-paned windows framed by metal rosettes, wreaths, dentils, balusters, and volutes. (Much of the intricate ornamentation is new, made by Robinson Iron in Alexander City, AL, and CCR Sheet Metal in Brooklyn, NY.)

Henson was drawn to the commission partly because so many innovative Belle Epoque buildings survive nearby, including Louis Sullivan's leafy Bayard Building and McKim, Mead & White's Romanesque-arched Cable Building. "The historic and current development of the NoHo district is built upon progressive architectural experimentation," he says. The original name of 648 Broadway was the Banner Building, after its millionaire developer, Peter Banner. A wholesale clothing merchant, he also put up commercial and residential structures, including luxury apartment blocks on Central Park West.

For the first phase of 648 Broadway, he hired Cleverdon & Putzel, prolific architects of everything from Harlem row houses to a crematory in nearby Queens. Tenants, mostly clothing manufacturers and sellers, filled Cleverdon & Putzel's eight floors soon after the Banner Building opened around 1892. Six years later, Banner brought in Robert T. Lyons (the architect of several Banner apartment buildings) to add a two-story penthouse. Lyons echoed Cleverdon & Putzel's arched windows and Classical vocabulary, and the top two floors serve as a lacy six-bay capital for the four-bay plainer base and shaft. Banner was prominent enough that his daughter Rosalie married a Bloomingdale department store heir (and that couple's son married a Rothschild baroness).

But the developer apparently overextended himself. By 1906, 648 Broadway was embroiled in his bankruptcy proceedings. The current owner's family acquired it in the 1940s, and its tenant roster has evolved over the decades from handbag makers to a jazz club to designers, theater and film professionals and other creative types. The building is now loftily called Bleecker+Bond (after the adjacent side streets). Henson and the contracting team (Soho Restoration, Brooklyn, NY; subcontractor: MJE Contracting, Corona, NY) ended up removing unfortunate 20th-century accretions. Underneath a 1970s aluminum storefront, they found fluted pilasters, reliefs of lions' heads and an 1890s advertising plaque for the Cornell brothers' Manhattan iron foundry.

Leaky window air conditioners had fostered decay in the wood sash and helped corrode the wrought-iron bolts that held together the cast iron. Lyons' sheet-metal upper floors were severely deteriorated, pocked with dents and punctures. The façade had to be literally taken apart. "Cast-iron construction is a complex assembly, a very heavy, unwieldy, brittle puzzle that demands meticulous care," says Henson. Soho Restoration dismantled the façade and patched the salvageable iron with epoxy from Belzona of Glen Cove, NY. Robinson Iron and CCR fabricated and installed new elements. The fasteners are now stainless steel, and the joints are soldered. J. Scott Howell, Robinson's general manager, is a veteran of such replication projects, and reports that New York's 19th-century foundries supplied an astonishing variety of compatible patterns that clients could mix and match. "Everybody wanted something a little special about their particular location," he says.

Viles Contracting Corp. of Newark, NJ, used Cathedral Stone mortars to repair the eroded brownstone trim at the former Banner Building. JPadin of Newark installed Spanish cedar-framed, insulated-glass windows in double-hung and pivoting formats. New HVAC was woven throughout the ten floors, with mechanical equipment hoisted onto the roof, all while the offices remained occupied. Coal storage spaces on the ground floor, still full of container-loads of coal, were cleared out to adapt into a fire stair egress leading to a back alley. Henson and project subcontractor Julio Mejia recently toured a reporter through the building, starting at its foundations on granite blocks and brick ziggurats.

In a basement cavity, a brick vault arches over the adjacent subway tunnel. (A train rattled ominously through, just in time for the tour.) A petaled leaded-glass transom illuminates the lobby's white marble walls. An ADA-compliant steel ramp, fitted snugly over a basement lateral beam, now leads to the ground floor's deli. Floral and ribbon motifs recur there in the pressed-metal ceiling, exposed column capitals and penny round tile floors. On the shaft for the venerable Otis freight elevator, Eastlake florals and stripes are incised on each floor's door latches. Iron asters and scrollwork trail down the back stair's railing. Construction debris from the 1890s still lurk in a strange windowless half-floor between the Cleverdon & Putzel base and Lyons' addition. Henson has developed a kind of sub-specialty in such dusty crannies and daring vintage architectural materials around New York City.

In recent years he has secured the envelopes of everything from Flemish Revival stepped parapets to Colonial Revival limestone corner quoins, copper mansards, Beaux-Arts gilded domes, 1930s skylights, 1960s concrete balconies and 1980s curtain walls. Clients keep coming in with unique building conditions compromised by weather, time and gravity, or building components in some unexplained state of duress. "Those are the kinds of challenges I love," he says, "and that are important to me for my work as a preservation architect."  TB

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Francis H. Leggett Co's Warehouse

The Francis H. Leggett Co’s Warehouse is a Landmark building designed by George W. DaCunha, whose buildings are found in the Tribeca Historic district as well as other Manhattan historic districts. This structure was built in 1881-82 for Francis H. Leggett (1840-1909), an influential businessman and owner of one of the country's largest importing firms in groceries, teas, and coffees. Leggett's business remained in the building until at least the middle of the second decade of the twentieth century. The facades display the bold, linear articulation of the neo-Grec style in combination with more intricate and complex detailing that characterizes the Queen Anne style. Originally the building, which replaced eight structures, had three imposing, and very similar, facades. In 1914, as part of the widening of Varick Street and the extension of the IRT line, the western side and half of south side of the building were demolished and a brick wall with simple openings was erected on the new western building line.

We have completed an Interior Renovation of the lobby and hallways, to bring back the industrial look to this former warehouse. We are also working on the Exterior and Storefront Renovation in compliance with the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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46 Commerce Street

46 Commerce Street was completed in 1844 as a portion of one of the first New York City residences built for Alexander T. Stewart. Stewart went on to build the first department store in New York and one of the most successful retailing businesses in the country. Stewart was later nominated as US Secretary of the Treasury by President Grant and died as the seventh wealthiest American in history.

SHA is currently working on a restoration of the building’s upper floor apartment and building upgrades, including a new roof deck and bulkhead. The building will also be undergoing façade repairs, including restoration of the original wood cornice, masonry repairs and roof replacement.

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The Sanderson Hotel Building

8 Gramercy Park North, a five-story co-op building located just outside the Gramercy Park Historic District, was originally constructed as three separate buildings. In the early 1920s a hotelier converted it into a single structure and re-clad the new building in Neo-Tudor stucco and timber.

In 2007 we directed the restoration of the façade, which had fallen into disrepair. It was important to all involved that the restoration be sensitive to the surrounding historic district. Utilizing details from archival photographs and the adjacent buildings, SHA designed a new unified facade which revived the elegant brownstone detailing of the original 3 buildings. In keeping with the details of the surrounding buildings, deep red period brick with tight butter joints were specified, and a new copper cornice was installed to match the sheet metal cornices of the original buildings.

The restoration received a 2012 Brick in Architecture Gold Award from the Brick Industry Association and an Award of Excellence from the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates on 2011.

These two ten-story brick and terra cotta buildings have undergone exterior restoration as part of the New York City LL11 repair program. The buildings, built in 1912 and 1913, are located in Morningside Heights and serve as residences for Columbia University.

The scope of work included exterior masonry repairs, structural steel repairs, sill and lintel replacement, limestone and terra cotta restoration, and corner reconstruction.