The Permanent Mission to the Czech Republic is an 8-story Neo-Georgian building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan constructed in 1902. The building, which currently includes government offices and residential apartments, underwent a preservation-related exterior restoration in 2019-2021. The client’s goal for the exterior restoration was to restore and preserve the building’s historic features, including the sheet metal cornice, limestone elements, and Roman brick facades.
All brick and limestone at the primary facades were repointed as the mortar had nearly disappeared in some locations. Although the building is not located in a Landmark District, Henson was sure to carefully color match replacement face brick to match the existing wherever necessary. In addition, to address emerging cracks in the limestone at the primary facades, Henson carefully color-matched injection restoration grout and worked with the contractor to perfect an application technique that left repaired stone with a seamless appearance. While this was a daunting and time-intensive task, the masonry facades look their best once again after many years of weathering and deterioration.
We believe the original intent of the sheet metal cornice was to create the appearance of stone – to match the limestone on the façade – at a lower cost. After scraping the severely weathered finish from the cornice, Henson carefully color-matched a new rust inhibitive coating to match the building’s limestone elements.
Some of the building’s intricate wrought-iron balcony railings had deteriorated and did not meet code height requirements. So Henson designed vertical extensions, resecured loose connections, and replaced missing elements as required. After the railings were resecured or otherwise modified, always to match the existing, they were scraped and painted with a new rust inhibitive coating as well.
Henson Architecture is extremely proud of restoring this prominent Madison Avenue building to its original, classical appearance.
June 8, 2021