The latest news on New York architecture.


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80 Greene Street

80 Greene Street, located in the Soho Cast Iron District, was designed by architect Griffith Thomas and was completed in 1872 as a store and storehouse for C. Henry Gardiner. The construction of 80 Greene is characteristic of the historic district, with a cast iron façade and large open loft-style floor plates.

SHA was contracted to prepare design, filing and construction documents for the full interior demolition and renovation of the building’s 4,000sf second floor loft. The renovation included space planning for an entirely new apartment layout, including a two bedroom suites, a guest bedroom, new fire places and chimneys, a new kitchen and the construction of a new 2,000sf mezzanine loft space, accessed via spiral stair.

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Façade Inspection & Safety Program

Facade Inspection and Safety Program (FISP) - Cycle 8

The New York City Department of Buildings requires that owners of buildings greater than 6 stories must have their buildings’ exterior walls and appurtenances inspected once every 5 years and file a technical report to the Department of Buildings.

The current Inspection Cycle 8 runs from February 21, 2015 to February 21, 2020.


The last digit of the building’s block number determines the sub-cycles in which the report must be filed.

Cycle 8 is staggered into 3 sub-cycles:

  • Cycle 8A

  • Cycle 8B

  • Cycle 8C

Sub-cycle Last Digit of Block Number Filing Period
A 4, 5, 6, or 9 2/21/2015 – 2/21/2017
B 0, 7, or 8 2/21/2016 – 2/21/2018
C 1, 2, or 3 2/21/2017 – 2/21/2019


The inspection (critical examination) must be performed by a Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector (QEWI) - a New York State licensed architect or engineer.

The status of the façade can be classified in three ways:

  • Safe– The façade has no problems and is in good condition

  • Safe With a Repair and Maintenance Program

  • Unsafe– The façade has problems/defects that pose a threat to public safety

Unsafe Conditions

If unsafe conditions are found, owners must file the report as 'Unsafe' and immediately install public safety measures, such as a sidewalk shed, construction fence, etc.

Unsafe conditions must be corrected within 30 days from the date of filing the report and an amended report filed with the Department within 15 days of completing the repairs. In total, repairs must be corrected and an amended report filed within 45 days of the initial filing.

If the conditions will take longer than 30 days to repair, the QEWI may submit an extension of time request and the DOB may grant an extension of up to 90 days, provided that the premises have been secured by the installation of a shed, fence, etc. Further extensions will only be considered with evidence of unforeseen circumstances or if the nature of the repairs require more than 90 days. There is a filing fee for each extension request, and extensions will need to be renewed until the Unsafe conditions are corrected.

If a building owner files a report as Unsafe and fails to correct the conditions and file an amended report within the allotted time (and does not obtain an extension), the building owner is subject to a monthly penalty for every month the unsafe conditions are not corrected.

Filing Fees

  Filing Fee
 Initial Report $265
 Amended/Subsequent Report $100
 Extension Request $135

Violations and Penalties

Penalties apply after the filing period ends.
Link: Inspection Cycle & Filing Period

 Late Filing (intial report) $250 per month
 Failure to File (initial report) $1,000 per year
 Failure to correct unsafe conditions $1,000 per month

New Buildings

For new construction above 6 stories, the owner has 5 years from the date that a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) has been issued to file the first FISP initial report. This means that any new building that received its TCO between February 21, 2010 - February 20, 2014 may need to file its first report during Cycle 8, depending on the last digit of the tax lot.

New Requirements

During Cycle 7, the Department of Buildings issued a new requirement that balcony railings and guards must be inspected for structural stability and code compliance, if not already included in the initial Cycle 7 inspection and report.

In Cycle 8, balcony railings and guards will be incorporated into the FISP inspection and technical report.

Window-mount air conditioning units will be included in the FISP inspection performed by the QEWI, and will therefore be classified as Safe or Unsafe. The Department of Buildings issues guidelines for installing window-mount air conditioning units, including:

  • Support the unit from underneath with metal brackets or firmly fasten it from inside with angles - any supporting hardware should be structurally fastened to the building (not the window frames) and must be strong enough for the weight of the AC unit.

  • Install the AC unit so it remains in place when the window is opened, or affix it so that the window cannot be opened accidentally.

  • Do not use loose objects, such as wood blocking, bricks, telephone books, or gypsum board to support the leveling of an AC unit.

New Online Filing Requirement

Beginning September 12th, 2016, the New York City Department of Buildings (NYC DOB) will require building owners, managers, and design professionals to use the new online portal, DOB NOW: Safety, to submit compliance filings for the Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), more commonly known as Local Law 11.

With this new requirement, Owners, Licensees, Filing Representatives, Registered Architects, and Professional Engineers must register in e-Filing to access DOB NOW and submit facade compliance filings.

The key change is that Owners and/or Owners’ Representatives, now must sign reports electronically, and to do so MUST be registered in e-Filing.

Effective 31 August 2016, facade compliance filings or extension requests, for Cycle 6 and beyond, will no longer be accepted in person and will no longer be available for review in the Building Information Systems (BIS).

To learn more about DOB NOW: Safety, sign up to attend an information session, or visit the DOB NOW: Safety Resource Page for helpful links and instructions.

To view FISP (Local Law 11) Projects click here.

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Jewelers Craft Building

We are the building Architect for this nine-story loft building. This Landmark Renaissance Revival building was designed by the noted firm of Cady, Berg and See and is situated in the Tribeca East Historic District. The building was converted to artists’ living and working quarters in 1978-80.

We have been working with the building for 10 years carrying out a range of projects including a restoration of the historic façade, roof repairs, elevator and boiler upgrades, and interior renovations.

The former Fuller Brothers Hat Manufacturing complex is historically and architecturally significant as an important and rare surviving example of the mid-19th century large scale industrial development in the city of Middletown under National Register Criteria A and C. The building displays architectural elements from the Italianate and Romanesque styles and retains a high degree of materials and craftsmanship. It is one of the few remaining industrial complexes associated with the city of Middletown’s major industrial area and the large scale industrial development of the mid and upper Hudson Valley regions.

The factory complex was built by the Fuller Brothers in 1874 and throughout its history it has been owned by a number of different entities. The original factory consisted of seven principal buildings, but it has undergone various alterations since its construction including additions to the main building and the construction and demolition of outbuildings on the property.

The project is located at 34 Mill Street in the City of Middletown, Orange County at the corner of Mill Street and Harding Street. The buildings have been mostly vacant since 1978. Adaptive reuse of the property allowed for the rehabilitation of the property for needed affordable housing. This project serves two important purposes: first, the preservation, reuse and restoration of the most significant components of the property, namely, the main mill building and the smokestack—the signature element of this historic complex, as well as an additional outbuilding; and second the provision of needed affordable housing in the City of Middletown.

Magnusson Architecture and Planning PC designed and carried out an adaptive reuse of the main mill building as residential units and commercial space, and one of the original outbuildings for a residents’ community hall. As preservation consultants, we provided the necessary analysis and specifications to reconstruct, and maintain the facades of the main mill building and the original chimney stack. A new addition of 15 additional units and residential support facilities is attached to the east of the main mill building through a three-story glass corridor, replacing the remainder of the original outbuildings.

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11 West 20th Street

This nine story Neo-Renaissance store and loft building built in 1901 is a part of the Ladies Mile Historic District. The narrow masonry façade is decorated with cartouches on the first three stories, molded window surrounds, and elaborately carved piers and features an original double height iron storefront with pivoting windows.

We have been engaged extensively on the exterior restoration of this landmark building. In 2007 we undertook an interior renovation of the building’s third floor.  

In 2012 we returned to undertake roof, chimney, and skylight repairs for the building as well as repointing the façade, repairing damaged masonry, and replacing the building’s historic windows with new thermally insulated windows.  

Throughout the project we worked closely with the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s to preserve the aesthetic integrity of 11 West 20th Street while ensuring that it would continue to be a sound, high-performing building for its tenants.

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We offer expertise in "green" or vegetated roof systems, providing our clients with customized design strategies to take advantage of the environmental, economic, and aesthetic opportunities provided by their otherwise underutilized roof spaces.

The benefits of green roofs include increasing property resale or rental values, reducing HVAS system energy consumption, improving air quality, mitigating the Urban Heat Island Effect, minimizing storm water run-off and potentially lessening the need for complex and expensive drainage systems.

As a result, installing a green roof can be a cost efficient strategy for buildings seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, by qualifying for multiple credits in the Sustainable Sites (SS), Water Efficiency (WE), and Energy and Atmosphere categories.

Our Sustainability services include:

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We have extensive experience working with general contractors, preservation specialists, craftsmen and artisans and will assist property owners through all phases of the construction process, from the selection of qualified contractors through construction management services.

We use our experience with comparable projects and current market prices to provide accurate construction cost estimates, bid recommendations and contract negotiations and ensure that the projects progress smoothly and efficiently. Throughout the construction process, we maintain an open line of communication by providing our clients detailed progress reports and project documentation.

Our Construction services include:

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We provide exterior inspection and analysis services, including scaffold inspections, exploratory probe work, material testing and analysis and the production of comprehensive recommendation reports. Our experience includes performing over 100 façade inspections  in compliance with New York City Local Law 11/98, which requires owners of buildings that are six stories or taller to file periodic conditions reports with the New York City Department of Buildings.

Additionally, we provide city and government agency filing services including new building applications, alteration applications, demolition applications, Department of Transportation sidewalk and street work applications, tree planting applications, curb cut applications, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission applications for work on historic buildings,  BEST Squad site safety plans, as well as professional certification and expedited filing services.

Our extensive experience with these agencies as well as maintaining open and clear communication with our clients throughout expedites and simplifies what can otherwise be a prolonged and complicated process.

Our Technical services include:

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We are a full-service architectural firm providing design services for new buildings as well as additions to existing buildings. We work closely with clients in every aspect of the project, taking into consideration their design goals, programmatic requirements, and site and budgetary constraints to create buildings that are both functional and beautiful.

Through all stages of the design process, we strive to maintain an open, transparent line of communication with our clients and pride ourselves in delivering projects in an organized and timely manner.

Our Design services include:

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Our expertise is the preservation and restoration of historic buildings, approaching each building with a comprehensive understanding of traditional building materials and construction methods as well as new high-performance technologies.

Our practice directs this proficiency toward preserving the original character and architectural significance of historic structures, while ensuring that they remain active contributors in our modern urban fabric. We work closely with skilled tradespeople and artisans to provide our clients with the highest quality restorative work.

Our Preservation services include: