October 28, 2016
Title screen shot from “El Architecto de Nueva York”
The biographical documentary, El Architecto de Nueva York, was honored with a Golden Dolphin Award at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards on October 13, 2016. Directed by Eva Vizcarra and produced by RTVE/Endora Producciones, the film won in the category of History and Civilization.
The accomplished life of Rafael Guastavino, an architect born in Valencia, Spain is the focus of this documentary. He emmigrated to the USA from Spain in 1881 and proceeded to design and build some of the most recognizable architectural gems of Manhattan – yet his name is still largely unrecognized. This award-winning film is a celebration of his life and brings long overdue awareness and enlightenment about his contributions to the architecture in cities worldwide.
The Vertical Access Connection
Kent Diebolt and Berta de Miguel guide viewers through Grand Central Station. Screen shot from “El Architecto de Nueva York”.
Kent Diebolt, and Berta de Miguel of Vertical Access are studied in the history of Rafael Guastavino – his vault construction techniques and his many architectural structures throughout the United States. Both appear in the film guiding viewers through iconic examples of his work in New York City such as Grand Central Terminal, the Guastavino Oyster Bar, Ellis Island and more. In 2013, Kent and Berta organized a hands-on tile vaulting construction workshop at the Association for Preservation Technology (APT) Annual Conference.
October 26, 2016
Test your knowledge of historic and iconic buildings in the U.S. (and beyond!) in this series of “guess the building” blog posts.
Series No. 9:
This challenge takes us to Canada. Originally built as a bank, this 12-story building’s upper floors are clad in terra cotta glazed to match the granite base. Perhaps you’ll recognize the iconic modern office tower in the background. Where is it?
Answer: One King Street West, Toronto, Ontario. Originally built as the Dominion Bank Building in 1914, this building was later converted to a hotel and condominiums. In the background of the first photo is Canada’s tallest building, First Canadian Place.
October 19, 2016
In October, Technical Services staff visited the Dutch Reformed Church in Newburgh to check in on an important step forward for the structure. The church, built in 1835, was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis and is a National Historic Landmark. The League named the Dutch Reformed Church a “Seven to Save” site for 2016-17 and is working with the City of Newburgh and local preservation advocates to make a stabilization, preservation, and re-use plan for the building.
In 2012, the sanctuary ceiling collapsed, crushing the pews inside and destroying additional important interior features. Because the condition of the building rapidly declined after the ceiling collapse, a complete structural analysis of the upper trusses and roof was absolutely necessary in developing a plan to save the building. But how could we complete this inspection and analysis when the building’s condition was so dangerous?
CONTINUE READING … Notes from the Field – Preservation League of New York State
September 30, 2016
Once celebrated for their innovative design, important modern buildings around the world are now at risk, endangered due to neglect, inappropriate alterations, deterioration, and, often, demolition. For the last two decades, the World Monuments Watch has called attention to threatened modern sites as a key issue in the field of heritage preservation. This presentation will offer an overview of the modern sites featured on the Watch since 1996. Register by October 10 at Archtober 2016 | World Monuments Fund
August 22, 2016
In addition to repairing the outside of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, workers are reconstructing its pinnacle: a 10-foot-tall Celtic cross.
Four years ago, chunks of the church’s 141-year-old brownstone facade fell onto the roof of the adjoining Henri Bendel store. The architectural firm Ford3, the structural engineering firm Robert Silman Associates and the investigation and testing firm Vertical Access, which sends inspectors up on ropes and boatswain’s chairs, took a close look.
Their conclusion was that it was time for a full-scale restoration of the brownstone on the north tower, next to Bendel, and on the south clock tower, which is topped by the Celtic cross that symbolically conjures the church’s Scottish heritage. The project includes cleaning, restoring and releading the clear exterior windows.
Source: Restoring a Cross High Above Manhattan, Stone by Stone – The New York Times