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August 10, 2023
A Revolutionary Restoration: Patrick Henry Prep

An award-winning school, Patrick Henry Preparatory (P.S. 171) also has a history worth celebrating: it was designed by Charles B.J. Snyder in his Collegiate Gothic style and named for a famous Founding Father.* SUPERSTRUCTURES provided investigation, design, and construction administration services for the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA) to restore the historic school, making it safe and watertight for students, faculty, and staff.

The 1899 building’s envelope is characterized by light-colored face brick and limestone with terra cotta ornamentation. Its five-story structure has an H-shaped plan with pitched, red terra cotta tiles roofs capped by conical copper spires. Guided by 93 sheets of contract documents, the restoration project included flood remediation, facade restoration, and work on windows and doors.

Water infiltration remediation included: masonry waterproofing, patching, and crack repairs at foundation walls; rebuilding areaway walls; replacing bluestone sills; and repairs to the first-floor ceiling slab.

Exterior masonry restoration comprised: repair of all limestone cracks and spalls; replacement of deteriorated limestone and terra cotta in kind; repointing of masonry joints; and replacement of all parapet copings with new flashing. An accessibility ramp was added at the east elevation.

Window and door work included: replacement of courtyard and glass block windows with double-hung units; replacement of all double-hung windows with aluminum units; repair of all existing lintels; and replacement of existing doors.

We’re proud to count Patrick Henry Prep among the many Snyder-designed schools we’ve restored, preserving the rich architectural heritage of New York’s public school portfolio.

*“Give me liberty or give me death…” The school is named for Virginia landowner, lawyer, and politician Patrick Henry, best known for that defiant declaration from his 1775 speech to the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Episcopal Church, Richmond.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

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