Adams Building, Howard University, Washinton, D.C. (1927)

Adams Building, Howard University

Washington, D.C. (1927) The Building: The Howard University School of Medicine dates to 1868, just one year after the founding of the university. The framed buildings are the Seeley G. Mudd Building, opened in 1979, and the Dr. Numa Pompilius Garfield Adams Building, opened in 1927 and expanded in 1957. The new half of the Adams … Read more

Alexander Hamilton House (Hamilton Grange National Memorial), Upper Manhattan, New York, New York, USA. Photo Credit: US National Park Service

Alexander Hamilton House

Upper Manhattan, New York City (1804) The Building:National Historic Site and former residence of one of America’s founding fathers.  The Problem:The flat plaster was failing in the principal rooms. The Development of a New Product:Historic Plaster Conservation Services worked closely with Naomi Kroll, Senior Conservator for the National Park Service, to develop a new product … Read more

Congregation Beth Elohim (also known as the Garfield Temple and the Eighth Avenue Temple), Brooklyn, New York, USA. Photo Credit: David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons

Congregation Beth Elohim

Brooklyn, New York (1910) The Building: Congregation Beth Elohim, also known as the Garfield Temple and the Eighth Avenue Temple, is a Reform Jewish congregation located in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. In 1910, construction was completed on the new synagogue with a dome-capped sanctuary seating 1,500. The structure was designed and built by the … Read more

Egg crate-like panel is gently applied to fragile fresco

Contemporary Fresco Rescue

St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Charlotte, North Carolina (1893) The Building:St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Charlotte, North Carolina. How to Remove a Precious, Delaminated and Delicate Fresco from a WallSeismic shocks from a nearby underground construction project caused approximately 30% of a 1,540 square-foot contemporary fresco, painted by North Carolina artist Ben Long, to collapse. The fresco … Read more

Felician College Iviswold Castle, Rutherford, New Jersey, USA

Felician College Iviswold Castle

Rutherford, New Jersey (1890) The Building:A Gilded Age mansion.  The Problem:Classic example of the detachment of plaster from the wood lath as evidenced by numerous broken keys & lugs, and the settlement of plaster away from the substrate. Project Synopsis:Historic Plaster Conservation Services (Canada) was asked to assess the ceiling (which featured valuable decorative painting … Read more

First Congregational Church of West Haven, West Haven, Connecticut. Photo Credit: Polaron, Wikimedia Commons

First Congregational Church of West Haven

West Haven, Connecticut (1859) The Building:First Congregational Church of West Haven was built on a place called “the Commons”, which denoted common ground for the use of the community. Over the years, the Church has had three separate sanctuary buildings. The first was built in 1719. The second was built in 1851 and burned to the … Read more

First United Methodist Church, Henderson, Kentucky, USA

First United Methodist Church

Henderson, Kentucky (1914) The Building: First United Methodist Church was constructed in 1914 as a rebuild of a church that was destroyed by a tornado. The Issue of Concern: In the summer of 2014, a seven-foot diameter area of plaster-on-wood-lath ceiling collapsed, almost injuring a group of visiting students. The collapse triggered a capital fundraising campaign for … Read more

Galilee Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Galilee Episcopal Church

Virginia Beach, Virginia (1956) The Building:Galilee Episcopal Church is an expansive red-bricked building and one of the most popular churches in Virginia Beach. Project Synopsis:HPCS USA was called in to inspect the plaster-on-wire-lath ceiling, the surface of which was experiencing serious cracking throughout. The inspection revealed that the ceiling was in precarious condition and it … Read more

Gould Memorial Library, Bronx, New York, USA

Gould Memorial Library

Bronx, New York (1899) The Building:National Historic Site designed by Stanford White. The Issue of Concern:There was serious concern for public safety after a cast plaster ornament (rosette) fell off the ceiling of the Guastovino tiled dome. In addition, the large cast plaster figures were severely damaged by vandalism during student demonstrations. Project Synopsis:Historic Plaster … Read more

Grace Church, New York City, New York, USA. Photo Credit: Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Church

New York City, New York (1846) The Building:Described as “one of the city’s greatest treasures”, Grace Church is a French Gothic masterpiece and a National Historic Landmark, designed by James Renwick Jr. Project Synopsis: Phase 1Historic Plaster Conservation Services was retained to conduct a structural assessment of the wood lath and plaster ceiling above this … Read more

Greater Newark Conservancy, Newark, New Jersey, USA

Greater Newark Conservancy

Newark, New Jersey (1882) The Building:The Greater Newark Conservancy is a non-profit organization headquartered in Newark, New Jersey with the stated goal of promoting “environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities.” It offers programs for youth education, community greening and gardening, nutritional health, job training, and prisoner re-entry. The … Read more

Tenement Museum, Lower East Side, New York City, New York. USA. Photo credit: Beyond My Ken, Wikimedia Commons

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

New York City, New York (1863)Delicate Paint Finishes and Plaster on Wood Lath The Building:A popular museum that focuses on America’s urban immigrant history. Between 1863 and 1935, 7,000 tenants lived at this 97 Orchard Street address.  An Interesting Curatorial Mandate:The museum has an interesting and challenging curatorial mandate for rooms that are in a … Read more

Lyric Theatre, New York City, New York, USA

Lyric Theatre

New York City, New York (1903) The Building:The Lyric Theatre, previously known as the Foxwoods Theatre, the Hilton Theatre and the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts, was constructed in 1903 with the theatre installed in 1968. Project Synopsis:Prior to the opening of the $75 million Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” (the most … Read more

New Victory Theater, New York City, New York, USA

New Victory Theater

New York, New York (1900) The Building: Built by Oscar Hammerstein I in 1900 and designed by architect Albert Westover, the theater opened as the Theater Republic on September 27, 1900 with Lionel Barrymore starring in James Heme’s play Sag Harbor. Over the years, the theater experienced a variety of incarnations and name changes. In 1994/95, it underwent an … Read more

Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, New York, USA. Photo Credit: Jim.henderson, Wikimedia Commons

Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral

New York City, New York (1868) The Building: Designed by the same architect who designed New York City Hall, Old St. Patrick’s was the first cathedral church for the Diocese of New York. Originally built in 1808, the church interior was destroyed by fire on October 6, 1866 and then rebuilt and re-opened on St. Patrick’s … Read more

Saints Joseph and Michael Church, Union City, New Jersey, USA

Saints Joseph and Michael Church

Union City, New Jersey (1875) The Building: Construction of Saints Joseph and Michael Catholic Church on Central Avenue was completed in 1875. The building is a state and national historic place. On March 4, 2017, a fire started in an adjacent apartment building and quickly spread to the church. Project Synopsis: The church was badly damaged from … Read more

Second Church of Christ Scientist, New York City, New York, USA

Second Church of Christ Scientist

New York City, New York (1904) The Building:A monumental edifice on the northwest corner of Central Park West and 96th Street in Manhattan. The Problem:The deterioration of plaster encasing the huge glass skylight presented a potentially serious safety problem. The Solution:Mark Anderson, senior heritage architect with Façade MD, asked Historic Plaster Conservation Services to assess … Read more

Sixth Street Community Synagogue, New York City, New York, USA

Sixth Street Community Synagogue

New York City, New York (1847) The Building: The Sixth Street Community Synagogue was originally the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Mark, built in a renaissance revival style in 1847. Much of the church membership was killed in the 1904 General Slocum steamboat disaster in which the boat caught fire on the East River and more than … Read more

St. Agnes Church, Reading, Massachusetts, USA

St Agnes Church

Reading, Massachusetts (1887) The Building:The need for a church in the Reading area was made evident by the experience of Rev. Thomas H. Shahan. On his way to visit relatives in Melrose, he had an hour lay-over at the train station in South Reading (Wakefield). When some of the Catholics of the area learned of … Read more

St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

St. Aloysius Catholic Church

Jersey City, New Jersey (1908) The Building: Designed by architect Charles Edward, St. Aloysius is a granite French Renaissance style church and bell tower that can accommodate nearly 1000 persons. Project Synopsis: An assessment of the 14,000 square foot plaster-on-wood-lath ceiling revealed that the plaster had lost a significant amount of its structural integrity in relation to … Read more

St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Photo Credit: Jim.henderson, Wikimedia Commons

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church

Brooklyn, New York (1847) The Building: A historic Episcopal church in Brooklyn Heights designed by prominent 19th century architect Minard Lafever. The stained glass windows, designed by William Jay Bolton and John Bolton, are the first complete canon, or set, of figural stained glass windows made in North America. The Bolton windows consist of six distinct … Read more

St. Ann School, Bronx, New York, USA

St. Ann School

Bronx, New York (1950) To Remove or not to Remove? That was the Question.Widespread delimination of the gypsum plaster skim coat from the cast concrete ceiling presented a safety problem in this school built in the 1950s. Two remedial options were considered: 1. Scrape off the existing plaster and then re-plaster; or 2. Re-adhere the … Read more

St. Brigid's Church, New York City, New York, USA

St. Brigid’s Church

New York City, New York (1948) Restoration in the Nick of TimeThis elegant and brilliantly designed church with a ceiling that looks like the hull of a ship was closed and abandoned in 2001 when a crack in the east wall became irreparable. As demolition crews arrived and began smashing the antique stained glass windows, … Read more

St. Gabriel's Monastery, Brighton, Massachusetts

St. Gabriel’s Monastery

Brighton, Massachussets (1929) The Building: St. Gabriel’s Monastery, built in the Mission style in 1909, is a Boston Landmark, surrounded by historic structures and landscape features. The entire 11.6-acre site had been abandoned for about 30 years until 2016 when Cabot, Cabot, and Forbes proposed a bold redevelopment, which includes the construction of four new residential … Read more

St. John's Episcopal Church, Yonkers, New York, USA. Photo Credit: The New York Landmarks Conservancy

St. John’s Episcopal Church

Yonkers, New York (1752) The Building: This historic church in the Getty Square neighborhood of Yonkers was originally constructed in 1752, with an addition in 1859 and modifications to the facade in 1874 by noted architect Edward Tuckerman. It is constructed of rough gray fieldstone with red brick on the corners. It is cruciform in plan, … Read more

St. Leonard's Roman Catholic Church, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

St. Leonard’s Roman Catholic Church

Boston, Massachusetts (1899) The Building: St. Leonard’s Church is a Roman Catholic church located at the corner of Hanover and Prince Streets in the north end of Boston. Founded in 1873 and completed in 1899, it is one of the oldest churches built by Italian immigrants in the United States. Construction of the current building, designed … Read more

St. Mary of the Mount Parish Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

St. Mary of the Mount Parish Church

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1897) The Building: A notable landmark in Pittsburgh, overlooking the city from the top of Mt. Washington. A New Alternative Treatment Method for Stabilizing Plain Face PlasterAn up-close inspection of the surface side of the ceiling revealed significant areas of plain face (vernacular) plaster in danger of falling. Particularly loose areas of the ceiling, … Read more

St. Paul of the Cross Monastery and Church (west front), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

St. Paul of the Cross Monastery and Church

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1859) The Building: St. Paul of the Cross Monastery and Church, designed by architect Charles Bartberger, is a historic landmark complex of buildings that stand on a hilltop overlooking the south side of the City of Pittsburgh, just a few minutes from the city center. Project Synopsis: HPCS USA was called in to inspect the … Read more

St. Stephen's Catholic Church, Croghan, New York, USA

St. Stephen’s Catholic Church

Croghan, New York (1902) The Building: On April 24, 1902, a fire consumed 21 buildings in the Village of Croghan, including the previous St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, which had been built in 1879. Project Synopsis: It didn’t take long for the resilient people of Croghan to spring into action. On August 22, 1902, the rebuilding of St. … Read more

St. Stephen's Church, New York City, New York, USA

St. Stephen’s Church

(The Church of Our Lady of the Scapular & St. Stephen)New York City, New York (1854) The Building:Historic church featuring a 22,000 square-foot rib-vaulted wood lath and plaster ceiling and fresco paintings by the renowned Constantino Brumidi. An Innovative Solution to a Strange and Challenging Problem:The ceiling was in a terrible state of dilapidation made … Read more

St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.

St. Teresa of Avila Roman Catholic Church

Washington, D.C. (1879) The Building: Saint Teresa of Avila is the Mother Roman Catholic Church of Southeast Washington, DC. The St. Teresa of Avila parish was formed when a need for a church east of the Anacostia River became evident to a growing Uniontown community. Built in 1979, the building features a beautiful mural painted on … Read more

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, New York City, New York, USA. Photo Credit: Jim.henderson, Wikimedia Commons

The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows

New York City, New York (1868) The Building: Built in a combined Victorian, Byzantine Revival and Romanesque style by Henry Engelbert, The Church of Our Lady of Sorrows served as the national parish for the many thousands of German families who arrived in New York after 1948. The building features an ornately decorated domed ceiling, along … Read more

Kings Theater, Brooklyn, New York, USA

The Kings Theater

Brooklyn, New York (1929) The Building: Formerly Loew’s Kings Theater, Kings Theater is a movie-palace type theater in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. The theatre was designed by the architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp, with the interior decor designed by Harold Rambusch. The massive structure has 3,676 seats and was closed in 1977, eventually suffering extensive … Read more

Times Square Theater, New York City, New York, USA

Times Square Theater

New York City, New York (1920) The Building: Times Square Theater was built in 1920 by the Selwyn Brothers based on a design by Eugene De Rosa. The theater has been vacant since 1990. For its centennial celebration, Stillman Development International (Developer) began the adaptive reuse development of the landmark-quality historic theater in the heart of … Read more

Trinity Episcopal Church, Newtown, Connecticut, USA

Trinity Episcopal Church

Newtown, Connecticut (1870) The Building: Trinity Episcopal Church is a Gothic Revival structure in the heart of Newtown’s historic district. The 1870 church, with its sandy yellow walls and ornate stenciling in plum and teal, saw its last major renovation in 2000. Project Synopsis: Extensive cracking could be observed on the surface side of the plaster 40 … Read more

Woolworth Building, New York, New York, USA

Woolworth Building

New York, New York (1912) The Building: The historic landmark Woolworth Building in New York City is undergoing a major renovation to convert the top 20 floors into high-end condominiums. Project manager, Alchemy Properties, came up with the highly commendable idea to not only preserve the extraordinarily beautiful fibrous plaster coffered ceiling in the 40th floor … Read more

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