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285 Central Park West

We served as the building architect for this Landmark building, located in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District.

Designed by Robert T. Lyons and completed in 1906, the St. Urban was park of the early generation of tall New York apartment buildings, which was ushered in by the construction of the Dakota in 1884.

Like many of these buildings, the St. Urban is firmly rooted in the Beaux-Arts tradition, with its high mansard roof, round corner tour, and elaborate copper detailing.

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The Banner Building

Originally completed in 1892, the “Banner Building” located in New York City’s NoHo Historic District was commissioned by local merchant and real estate operator Peter Banner. Featuring ornate cornices and cast iron columns, its 8-story Renaissance Revival facade combined the use of newly popular cast iron with the classical ornamentation typical of the district. By 2007, after over a century of wear and tear, the historic street façade and storefront had fallen into a state of critical disrepair. Acknowledging the building’s historic significance, the building’s owners of over 61 years retained our firm to direct what became a painstaking 3-year restoration to preserve the 19th century elegance of the Cleverdon & Putzel design while addressing 21st century concerns of energy conservation, accessibility and code compliance.

We implemented a master plan that began with intricately detailed facade inspections, mechanical probes, material analysis, historical research, and documentation. These investigations confirmed the urgency of the façade’s condition. The original cast iron components manufactured by the J.B. & J.M. Cornell foundry were severely corroded, evidenced not only in the cast iron, but also in its structural supports and bracing. In many areas, the decorative pressed sheet metal used in a 1898 rooftop addition was deteriorated beyond salvage or missing entirely. The sandstone pilasters and capitals framing the cast iron bands of the street facade were degraded and the original single pane wood frame windows had decayed beyond repair and warranted replacement in full.

The project team agreed that every effort should be made to adhere to the original materials and traditional means of construction. In areas where the original details were missing or could not be restored, new components had to be fabricated. The missing decorative cast iron elements were recast by Robinson Iron in Alexander City, Alabama using details extracted from surrounding features. In consultation with a structural engineer, new bracing was designed for the reattachment of both the restored and the newly cast elements. The pressed sheet metal egg and dart frieze, scroll moldings, rosettes and decorative medallion reliefs utilized on the 1898 addition were carefully documented section by section and keyed. Replacements for missing or damaged portions were fabricated locally using custom molds, then intricately soldered into place with newly designed structural connections.

The type, mechanics and details of the original wood windows were carefully surveyed for the fabrication of new thermally insulated wood windows. A total of 54 units were replicated to match historic details including both weight and pulley double hung windows and single pivoting sashes with transoms. To enhance the building envelope’s performance, the new windows were fabricated with energy efficient insulated glass panels.

Removal of the 1970’s aluminum and glass storefront revealed the original cast iron columns that would drive the new design. With relatively little documentation of the original storefront, we referenced the details of the original fenestration above as well as the original entry way to inform a new design that was both historically and contextually appropriate, providing a stable continuance along the street wall.

To ensure the preservation of not only the aesthetics of the Cleverdon & Putzel design, but also the buildings continued function, the architect incorporated energy efficiency as well as code compliance strategies throughout. The vestibule was widened to permit ADA access to the elevator bank while preserving the leaded glass entry door transom, penny tile and pressed metal ceiling. Leaking window AC units were replaced with an energy efficient split-unit system, with the condensing units concealed from view by placing them on the roof. The “labor law” staircase, installed in 1916 in what had been a coal chute, was severely corroded and had to be reconstructed part by part with new structural steel supports and platforms, all while keeping the stair open to residents. New insulated piping was run throughout the building and new ADA compliant plumbing fixtures were installed.

The restoration of the Banner Building contributes to the current revitalization of the NoHo Historic District, reinforcing its prominence as a neighborhood known for progressive architectural styles and design. The building’s present condition exhibits authenticity in the measures taken to preserve the original details and design intent, but also innovation in addressing 21st century concerns of energy efficiency and sustainability in a cohesive strategy.

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The Knickerbocker Telephone Company

Scott Henson Architect completed the full façade restoration of the Knickerbocker Telephone Co. Building, located at 200 Lafayette Street in New York City’s SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District Extension. Originally constructed in 1894 by architect and builder John T. Williams, the 7-story loft-style building is designed in the Renaissance Revival style and features a rusticated base, multi-story brick piers topped by molded capitals, elaborate cartouches, and pressed-metal cornices decorated with dentils and scrolled brackets.

In 2012, Scott Henson Architect was retained to address the decades of deterioration, which had left the historic street façade and cast iron storefront in a state of critical disrepair. The meticulous restoration included the repair and/or replacement of nearly all of the building’s original historic features, including the sheet metal cornice; the brownstone water tables, sills and lintels; the cast-iron bands and storefront bays; and the fire escapes. Much of the top floor of the Lafayette Street façade was reconstructed along with the entire upper half of the sheet metal cornice and decorative brackets, which were replaced to match the original. Due to the extensive deterioration of the brownstone, substantial sections of the water tables had to be completely rebuilt and many of the brownstone lintels and sills had to be cut back and replaced. All the cast iron and wrought iron elements of the facades were stripped, patched or recast and painted to its original historic color (paint analysis performed by Higgins Quasebarth and Partners).

Design architects Stephen B. Jacobs redesigned the storefront bays to match the historic configuration and directed the interior renovation, which celebrates the original historic features by exposing and restoring brick walls, cast iron columns, heavy timber beams, and wood ceilings. Completed in summer 2016, the 105,000 sf manufacturing building has been converted from an underutilized warehouse into high-end retail and offices spaces.

The project has been recognized by the Society of American Registered Architects with the 2016 Design Award of Excellence.

Published in Projects
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The Franklin-Hudson Building

We were retained to work on the exterior restoration of this ten-story loft building.

The Neo-Renaissance building is situated in the Tribeca West Historic District. SHA carried out a full exterior restoration of the building.

The scope of work included brick reconstruction and waterproofing, terra cotta and stone repairs, wood window repairs and a window replacement masterplan, structural steel spandrel replacement, a storefront design and masterplan, and awning repairs.

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The Puck Building

We were engaged to direct the restoration of this 1883 historic building located in the SoHo Landmark District. Designed in the Queen Anne/ Renaissance Revival styles by H.J. Schwartzmann & Co. Architect and altered in 1898 by the firm of Buchman & Deisler the building has undergone numerous renovations and housed residences as well as a technical school.

The Puck building, originally the home of the Puck magazine is one of the great surviving buildings from New York’s old publishing and printing district. The red-brick rounded arched structure occupies the entire block bound by Lafayette, Houston, Mulberry and Jersey Streets. It has been one of the most prominent architectural presences in the area since its construction in 1885. The result of three stages of construction, the building and its additions read as a single unified composition because of its supervision by architect Albert Wagner. The style is an adaptation of the Romanesque Revival, which reached popularity in the 1880’s. We performed a historic structure report in 2006, which aided the restoration program performed over the course of the following two years.

The restoration program included cast iron repairs and painting, mortar joint cutting and repointing, brick reconstruction, gilding restoration, window caulking, shutter repairs and painting, roof and coping stone repairs, chimney reconstruction, and façade cleaning. In addition to the restoration program, we executed Local Law 11 inspections and interior plan reviews. Presently, the Puck building houses office and event space and is home to New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. This iconic New York City landmark remains one of the most striking 19th century industrial buildings in lower Manhattan today.

Published in Projects
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The Union League Club

We were retained to direct the restoration of this neo-classical New York City Landmark building, originally built in 1931 by Benjamin Wistar Morris, of Morris & O’Connor. The restoration included repairs to the limestone cladding, brick reconstruction, and a new roofing membrane.

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30 Bond Street

This seven-story brick and brownstone condominium building, located in the NOHO Historic District, underwent an exterior restoration.

It was one of the first in the district to reflect the district's shift from residential to commercial buildings in the late 19th century, the building features a street level storefront space which was restored to closely match the original.

The brick and brownstone upper floors were repaired with masonry patching mortars and re-pointed, and the roof was replaced with a new liquid applied roofing membrane.

Published in Projects
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The Fleming Smith Warehouse

We were retained to direct the restoration of this Landmark building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally designed in 1891 by notable New York architect Stephen Decatur Hatch in the Romanesque Revival and neo-Flemish styles, the restoration included masonry reconstruction, repairs to the original stone cladding, historic wood window replacement and cast iron restoration.

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