The latest news on New York architecture.

  • A Reminder of the Importance of Balcony Maintenance and Repair

    A Reminder of the Importance of Balcony Maintenance and Repair

    It didn't take long for experts to start speculating about the cause of a devastating balcony collapse in Berkeley CA last summer. Six young people lost their lives in the horrific accident, and many others were seriously injured, when the balcony sheared away from the structure and flipped the occupants to the ground five stories below. The fact that the accident may have been averted with proper balcony maintenance and repair is more than chilling.

    In Los Angeles Times article dated June 16, 2016, Oakland structural and civil engineer Gene St. Onge was quoted as saying “It appears to be a classic case of dry rot, meaning water intruded into the building and rotted the wood. It gave way. It didn’t have enough residual strength, and it failed.”

    Evidence shows that not all requisite flashing was installed when the Library Gardens apartment complex was erected in 2007. There may have been other structural defects, as well. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office is currently leading a criminal investigation into the June 2016 accident, says the San Jose Mercury News.

    No matter who is ultimately found to be culpable, the facts indicate that this horrible occurrence could have -and should have- been prevented. Could the same sort of thing happen in New York City? You bet it could. There are thousands upon thousands of balconies in the city, and each of them ought to regularly inspected and maintained.

    If you are planning to build in NYC, or if you would like to schedule a thorough examination of your balconies, please contact us without delay. We are Scott Henson Architecture, and we can coordinate your inspection and perform every sort of requisite maintenance and repair.

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  • Facade Design for Historic Buildings: The Details Tell a Story

    Facade Design for Historic Buildings: The Details Tell a Story

    When one takes the time to step back to actually study the details of a historical building's appearance, they will discover that there are clues as to what purpose the building played in the community. 

    Through the years, styles and designs have evolved to meet the demands of the time. In cities, towns and villages, throughout our nation, industry, agriculture and diversity of regions inspired the designs of buildings.                   

    The details in these structures, whether they are tall, fluted columns, a Flemish bond brick pattern, intricate corbels or the simple lines of a Federal style home, dictate a particular design and/or the wealth of the owner.

    In times past, local craftsmen helped to build the framework for their communities in order to help with the growth and needs of their neighbors. Today, when planning a facade design for historic buildings, it's important for both the architect and the client to realize the purpose of the structure, to honor its historical value and to find ways to update its use without compromising its integrity. There are many ways in which this happens, whether by using original materials or techniques or by replicating certain features, to achieve the timeless appeal of historic buildings.

    Here, at Scott Henson Architect, we act as today's local craftsmen in that we have the knowledge and experience to breathe life back into your historic buildings. If there is a project that you are thinking of taking on or have any questions regarding a historic building, please contact us .

    Historic buildings are an important part of our historical landscape and it is imperative that we do justice to their designs and use.

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