SUPERSTRUCTURES’ restoration of 145 West Broadway was previously nominated for a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award. It turned out to be a “Lucy loser,” but for its owner and the Tribeca South Historic District, it’s still worthy of recognition.
“This is what we get for leaving a work of art out in the rain.” One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s clients* made this observation about the leaking roof of her house—a recent Wright design. SUPERSTRUCTURES’ response would have been something like, “we’ll track the leak and restore the roof so it doesn’t recur.” That would have been much more useful to the client.
The application of technology to exterior restoration is years—if not decades—behind the potential of the leading edge. But stay tuned. Arthur C. Clarke’s "law" of technology inspires our campaign to push the envelope.
SUPERSTRUCTURES specializes in restoring both “skin” and “skeleton”—envelope and underlying structure. Buildings may be clad in a variety of materials, but parking structures are quintessential skeleton. Our restorations of two White Plains parking garages for Cushman & Wakefield offer good case studies.
This observation from business thought leader, Peter Drucker resonates with SUPERSTRUCTURES’ philosophy of the restoration process. Various practitioners offer building envelope restoration strategies (e.g., rebuild the parapet wall, replace flashing above lintels, reinforce corner steel columns). But execution is a different story.
As architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details”—his variation of the older adage, “the Devil’s in the details.” So, whether benevolent or diabolical, we can conclude that details must be important—especially for exterior restoration.
Here’s a haunting challenge: If you had to prove you were a human user online by checking all images of gargoyles (as opposed to grotesques), which ones in this grid would you choose? First, you’d need to know the difference. What makes a gargoyle a gargoyle?
“Why was I not made of stone like thee?” asks Quasimodo in the 1939 film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We can relate to his lament: our restoration practice requires—and fosters—architectural empathy, a sensitivity for the inherent quality of materials and the value of historic fabric.
When you’re facing a FISP filing, remember this mantra: “Fix, then file.” In other words, attend to the condition of your building’s envelope regularly and periodic filing of a FISP report becomes a formality.
While this post was produced by a human, technologies like AI offer incredible potential in our discipline. SUPERSTRUCTURES isn’t just an E/A firm; we’re also a technology firm. We do our part to shape the future of exterior restoration by staying at the forefront of technology, developing and implementing digital tools to benefit our practice and our clients.