Projects // Commercial

381 Park Avenue South New York, New York

The 16-story, 12,450-square-foot office building was constructed in 1910 with brick and an abundance of terra cotta details which, over the years, had deteriorated. An initial scheme, wherein much of the terracotta would have been stripped and new brick substituted, was abandoned after probes revealed the majority of the façade could be preserved, saving in excess of a million dollars.

Over 500 pieces of terracotta were replaced with GFRC casts virtually identical to the originals. Complex fan arches, fluted spandrels, sills, jambs, lintels, ornate columns, and decorative urns were completely replicated in modern materials. The 14th-floor water table received new structural framing and a fiberglass cladding. The badly deteriorated limestone water table at the fourth floor was completely removed and replaced with a steel skeleton substructure and fiberglass cladding. Several floors of all three corner piers were completely dismantled and reconstructed after providing new steel protection and preservation. All exterior brick was cleaned and repointed. Existing terracotta details were highlighted to restore the subtle but extensive colorations on the façade. Custom retractable metal halide fixtures on outrigger arms were mounted to the water tables to allow for dramatic night lighting of the facades.

The $3-million project was completed in the spring of 2003 and received a Citation in Design Award from the New York State AIA in 2004.

381 Park Avenue South

381 Park Avenue South, night full view

381 Park Avenue South

381 Park Avenue South, night full view

381 Park Avenue South

381 Park Avenue South, upper building

381 Park Avenue South

381 Park Avenue South, upper building detail

381 Park Avenue South

381 Park Avenue South, urn detail