The 70s at 50
From the sweeping travertine and glass skin of 9 W 57th Street to the bold geometry of SUNY Buffalo’s Ellicott Campus, SUPERSTRUCTURES has helped restore exemplars of 70s architecture in New York City and beyond.
Something peculiar has happened to these buildings—they’re now at least 50 years old. This milestone birthday gives the designs of the decade enough critical distance that their restoration worthiness is being reconsidered. Whether derided or embraced, 70s architecture is now undeniably historic.
Our experience has demonstrated some of the challenges unique to restoring late modern buildings: glazed brick that tends to spall in New York’s freeze-thaw cycle; white-finished surfaces that are hard to keep clean; and extensive curtain wall sealants that can fail and allow water infiltration.
Other 70s projects in our portfolio include:
- One New York Plaza (William Lescaze and Ely Jacques Kahn, 1970)
- International Affairs Building, Columbia University (Harrison & Abramovitz, 1970)
- Bobst Library, NYU (Philip Johnson and Richard Foster, 1973)
- Residential Towers, SUNY Albany (Edward Durell Stone, 1974)
- Cathedral Parkway Towers (1975)
- Kibbee Library and Media Center, Kingsboro Community College (1976)
- The Harlem School for the Arts (Ulrich Franzen, 1977)
- Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University (1978)
We treat every building like a landmark, designated or not. Our work is only part of a building’s history and that context—whether from the 1870s or 1970s—always informs our approach.