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May 23, 2023
Doing Justice to the Tweed Courthouse

Time and the elements were doing an injustice to the Tweed Courthouse (aka the Old New York County Courthouse) at 52 Chambers Street. The masonry of its rotunda was suffering from water infiltration and deterioration. Our solution was to design a seamless restoration of this stately Civic Center interior.

Designed by John Kellum and Leopold Eidlitz and completed in 1881, the building is a National Historic Landmark and New York City Landmark (both the exterior and interior). In its 1984 designation decision, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission described the courthouse as “one of the city’s grandest and most important civic monuments."

The outstanding example of American Victorian architecture features an octagonal, three-and-one-half-story rotunda capped by a skylight. The interior is enlivened by multicolored brick and stone masonry, cast iron elements, Romanesque arcades, and bands of stained glass in the skylight.

Water infiltration into masonry below the skylight had caused deterioration of the uppermost sandstone band and beige brick below, as well as stained sections of red brick. Our restoration project for DCAS included repair, replacement, and repointing of cracked and spalled masonry, stone “dutchman” repairs, replacement of corroded anchors, and replacement of joint sealant at windows and coping stones.

We’re proud to contribute to the preservation of this irreplaceable interior.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

14 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10005
(212) 505 1133


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