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Architecture Week 2017 applauds great architecture! Porcelanosa – Exterior Facade Restoration, by CTS Group, wins an AIA NJ Honor Award in the historic preservation category.

red_eaglePORCELANOSA – EXTERIOR FACADE RESTORATION
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HISTORICAL NARRATIVE
202 Fifth Avenue which is located in New York City’s Madison Square North Historic District is a 6-story building constructed in 1918 as offices for the Thomas Cusack Company. Designed by architects Buchman & Kahn with Zimmerman, Saxe and Zimmerman the steel and reinforced concrete structure was faced with polychrome, glazed terra cotta which terminated in a large over-hanging cornice and a stone storefront with a stone cornice The highly visible 25th Street, south façade was originally treated as a promotional billboard, brightly lit after dark and covered with the firm’s name and services between windows and in a roof top sign.
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Major Building alterations commenced in the early 1940’s and continued for decades for new occupants and owners. These included removing window and closing all window opening son the south façade’s east and west bays and removing the extensive building-mounted signage. Decorative terra cotta spandrels were covered with stucco panels. Deteriorated terra cotta cornice brackets were removed and that cornice section was covered with stucco over wire lath. Finally the parapet was simplified and covered with stucco and the 1st floor storefront was completely replaced in 1991. The terra cotta
cornice and clad ding was adversely affected by limited maintenance. There was some response to the deterioration but virtually all was inappropriate. Remedial work included poor patching and the use of problematic and non-matching coatings over terra cotta facing, cornice and parapet elements.
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When Porcelanosa USA–a major European building tile and products manufacturer–acquired the property in 2012 it had twin goals. These were to create 21st century offices and showrooms for its American operations and to provide a 1st class exterior restoration which returned the façade to their original appearance and conditions to the greatest extent possible. The CTS Group was retained by Porcelanosa USA to prepare design and construction documents for the exterior restoration.
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FAÇADE RESTORATION
The Project included restoration of the existing polychrome terra cotta and stone façade elements. Although construction documents were generated based on extensive building surveys these were all from the ground. Once scaffolds were erected all facades were re-surveyed to confirm and add to the base scope of work. All terra cotta was cleaned which included the removal of numerous compound which required many mockups to achieve the correct effect. Removal of stucco cornice cladding revealed severely compromised structure all of which was replaced with new stainless steel structure and anchors. New terra cotta cornice features were fabricated based on existing remaining elements including some uncovered during the work. Openings on the south façade east and west bays which had altered and closed were re-opened. New terra cotta trim was fabricated for these openings as well as for all 6th floor lintels which had been damaged due to deteriorating steel supporting structure. Six carefully considered colors were chosen for the new terra cotta to match the dozen or so colors, and sheen, of the original.
Hundreds of ferrous anchors, which had been left in place from the building-mounted signage, were removed and patched with restoration mortar. Hundreds of additional areas of cracked and damaged terra cotta were patched as well. All patched terra cotta was coated with new glazing to match the colors and sheen of the original terra cotta.

Architecture Week 2017 applauds great architecture! 93 Reade Street by CTS Group wins an AIA NJ Merit Award in the historic preservation category

93 reade 1red_eagle93 READE STREET, NEW YORK CITY

 

CTS 93 Reade

HISTORICAL NARRATIVE

93 Reade St. is located in New York City’s Tribeca South Historic District.  This 5-story cast iron store and loft building was constructed in 1857 for the Jones family and is among the oldest surviving cast-iron-fronted buildings in New York.  Designed in the Italianate style, the building’s ornate façade is split into four bays at each story.  Bays are emphasized with fluted Corinthian columns while each floor line is emphasized by an ornate dentiled cornice.  On the upper stories, the window openings have flat-head arches with chamfered corners at the second through fourth stories and round arches at the fifth story.  Above the building cornice is a central arched pediment.  The cast iron façade had suffered from a significant lack of maintenance.  Additionally, it had undergone alterations in the form of a fire escape installation around the turn of the century and the original glass eye vault was covered with metal diamond plate with vault doors installed at the two west-most bays.

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Knightsbridge Properties acquired 93 Reade Street in 2011 and proposed an adaptive reuse for residential condominiums with a complete exterior restoration.  The CTS Group was retained by Knightsbridge Properties to prepare design and construction documents for the exterior façade restoration.  Restoration work was completed in 2016.

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FAÇADE RESTORATION

The Project included comprehensive restoration of 93 Reade Street’s 5-story cast iron façade which includes an arched building cornice pediment and 1st-floor storefront cornice.  As in many restorations, the complete extent of the work was not established until the scaffold was erected and the façade was fully surveyed.  However, major damage was apparent in the east and west bays due to settlement at the building’s party walls. Paint was removed from the entire façade using grit blasting and paint removers.  This revealed additional damage which had been obscured by the paint. Sections of the façade were carefully identified, tagged and removed to the restorer’s facility for restoration work.  Restoration included replacement of all missing and severely damaged features.  All the replacements were based on the original building features from which molds for the new castings were made.  All replacement components are cast iron and all new anchors are stainless steel for longevity.  All façade features were surveyed for damage to their supports.  All compromised supporting structure was repaired or replaced.  There were numerous in-situ repairs. These were done to limit wholesale disassembly where possible.  These repairs included work such as “stitching” for crack repair and adding sheet metal cladding at some sill areas to remedy back pitching due to structural settlement. All original cast iron column capitals had been removed from the building.  Rather than replicate the originals (for which no good photographic images existed) the Landmarks Commission approved a design which was modeled on, but not identical to, a typical column capital.  Due to their complexity the capitals were fabricated from GFRC.

Scientific paint analysis was used to determine the original cast iron paint color.  The entire cast iron façade was re-painted based on the analysis.  There is only a limited number of skilled cast iron restoration firms.  We acknowledge the capabilities of Allen Architectural Metals in realizing this successful, high quality, cast iron restoration.

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