The latest news on New York architecture.

  • The Iconic Chrysler Building is Up for Sale

    The Iconic Chrysler Building is Up for Sale

    An Art Deco masterpiece that has defined the Manhattan skyline for nearly 90 years is going up for sale in 2019. Currently co-owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council and New York property developer, Tishman Speyer, the Chrysler Building is expected to sell for as much as one billion dollars.

    The Chrysler Building is the eighth tallest building in New York City standing at 77 floors. At the date of its completion in 1930, this structure was the tallest building in the world with a height of 1,046- feet, including the 197-foot spire. This claim to fame was short lived, however, when the Empire State Building topped out at 1,250-feet 11 months later.

    Here are a few facts you might not know about the Chrysler Building:

    • The iconic Chrysler Building is constructed of nearly four million hand-laid bricks
    • 3,862 windows offer city views from the historic structure
    • Nearly 30 tons of steel were used to erect the famous skyscraper
    • The lobby of the Chrysler Building features Moroccan marble walls and floors
    • The eagle gargoyles on the building are replicas of a real Chrysler hood ornament
    • An observation deck on the 71st floor was closed to the public in 1945
    • Renowned LIFE magazine photographer Margaret Bourke-White once lived on the 61st floor
    • The spire was installed one day before the infamous 1929 stock market crash
    • The ceiling mural in the lobby is called "Transport and Human Endeavor"
    • The mural was painted by notable New York artist, Edward Trumbull

    The last time the Chrysler Building sold it was for more than 800 million dollars. This time around, the Art Deco icon may sell for much more if the right investor can be found. NYC Realty Advisors president, Thomas Birnbaum, calls the building "an absolute trophy" even though it can't compete with amenities offered by more modern buildings in New York.

    At Scott Henson Architect we’re delighted to discuss the preservation and restoration of famous landmarks such as this and other amazing Manhattan properties. To know more, contact us.

  • Olmsted’s Staten Island Home in State of Disrepair

    Olmsted’s Staten Island Home in State of Disrepair

    On Staten Island sits an important house in a dreadful state of disrepair. Described by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission as "a distinguished residence," the former home of Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmstead was declared a landmark in 1967.

    Alternately known as the Olmsted-Beil House or the Poillon House, this structure is the final remnant of the original 125-acre farm property Olmstead called home from 1848 to 1854. It was here that the idea of Central Park was conceived. This 18th century farmhouse was one of the very first official New York state landmarks, but if conservationists don't raise sufficient funds to make repairs soon, this important piece of history is sure to be demolished.

    According to a New York Times article, the estimated cost of stabilizing the abandoned house is around $460,000. One-third of that price would go towards removing flammable material, erecting a security fence, and paying for architectural drawings. This price doesn't include the cost of actual restoration of the landmark house.

    A Plan to Preserve

    In late October, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation proposed the acquisition of an adjacent property that would protect the area around the historic farmhouse from future development while adding public park space to the neighborhood. ”The purchase of this neighboring house is an imperative step toward the goal of renovating and reopening the house.” said Staten Island parks commissioner, Lynda Ricciardone.

    How You Can Help

    According to Untapped Cities magazine, the New York Landmark Conservancy is in a hurry to raise renovation funds by way of a Kickstarter campaign. At the time of this blog, the conservancy group Reclaim Olmstead House Committee has received enough crowdfunding to cover the cost of stabilizing the farmhouse floor and giving the historical house a fresh coat of paint.

    The ROHC is endorsed by Cultural Landmarks Foundation president, Charles Birnbaum, Prospect Park admin, Sue Donoghue, historian Kenneth Jackson and documentary filmmaker, Ric Burns.

    To know more about historical restoration, contact uscontact us.