The latest news on New York architecture.

  • Why Should Historic Building Preservation Be Welcomed With Open Arms?

    Why Should Historic Building Preservation Be Welcomed With Open Arms?

    The ability for architecture to use personification and express its function through form is what sets it apart it from mere buildings. Historic buildings use personification to allude to cultural ideas or historical references. They are built with human emotions, both positive and negative, by architects who have a story to tell.

    Preserving a historic building can be an important part of rebuilding a community, restoring a sense of place, and encourage progression. There are several neighborhoods and communities that are nearly identical, and it is because of this uniformity that many of them struggle to find their own unique identity.

    To abandon or demolish a historic building in a neighborhood is to destroy its soul. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) asserts that the best way to restore the life of a neighborhood is to build upon its strengths, to enhance what makes it different and to celebrate evidence of the past as a solid foundation for the future.

    The ways in which we design and maintain our historic buildings exerts a powerful influence on the quality of our lives. With the proper tools, your community can become a go-to place for travelers and tourists and become a place you’re proud of. Do you live or work in a community that respects its history? Are there buildings that you want to preserve in your community?

    Contact us today for more information about what we can do to help your community realize its promises and strengths. 

  • Making Historic Landmark Preservation Sustainable

    Making Historic Landmark Preservation Sustainable

    Historic landmarks are part of our cultural history and tell us a lot about the past through their characteristics. During the manufacturing boom in 19th century, building materials such as brick, hardwood, terracotta, and brownstone, became cheaper and more readily available. As a result, more and more people could afford to own a brick or stone home.

    Today, we admire these historic masonry buildings because their characteristics have become less common over time and as technology evolves. The green movement has inspired owners of historic buildings to become more sustainable when it comes to maintenance.

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) requires that historic buildings meet certain aesthetic criteria, while the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) requires that these buildings meet certain sustainable criteria. While LPC is more focused on the potential loss of a building’s character, the IGCC is more concerned with the reality that certain building materials have become less available and therefore unsustainable in today’s environment.

    To beat this conflict, preservation architects must pay special attention to a building’s most meaningful characteristics. For example, historic windows are central in defining the character of historic buildings. Instead of replacing in-kind, architects might suggest retrofitting with insulated glass to boost their performance or incorporate weather stripping and storm windows that prevent heat loss and gain all year round.

    Regarding energy, visible solar panels reduce the historical value of landmarks significantly. Preservationists prefer these panels be installed on flat roofs where visibility is minimal. Another sustainable solution currently in place is using renewable energy sources like off-site wind power and geothermal heating systems, which can be incorporated into the building system. These energy sources provide the much-needed efficiency and fulfill sustainability requirements that the IGCC, building owners and tenants desire.

    For more information, please contact us.