Low Library, Columbia University
New York, NY
Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece by McKim, Mead, and White (1894-97), a NYC Interior Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. The University’s main library until 1934, it now houses administrative offices and a visitor center. Low’s ceilings in the entry foyer, ambulatories, stairwells and meeting rooms are detailed with intricate plaster ornamentation. SUPERSTRUCTURES conducted an extensive investigation of these ceilings and provided restoration design and construction administration services. A report was issued with diagrams detailing the condition of the ceiling and water infiltration leading to discoloration, displacement, efflorescence, peeling paint, holes, and losses. An active leak was discovered after it was thought all water infiltration had been corrected; the source was determined, stopping future damage.