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 Conservation Services was retained to conserve the large cast plaster figures and hundreds of rosettes that populate the dome. A borescope was used to investigate the interior of the cast plaster figures, revealing numerous cracks.

AD 25 Gel's thixotropic properties are ideal for repairing cracks in plaster ornament
AD 25 Gel’s thixotropic properties are ideal for repairing cracks in plaster ornament.

HPCS devised a remote guided product delivery tool equipped with a syringe to inject HPCS AD 25 Gel™, an injectable dowel setting adhesive with thixotropic properties, into the cracks. This was done with minimal impact on the exterior of the figures. The rosettes were “dry” cleaned with soot sponges and re-secured with AD 25 Gel™. Pins were installed to give each rosette a mechanical connection.  

Large cast plaster figures populate Gould Memorial Library
Large cast plaster figures populating the Gould Memorial Library were re-secured.

To review the project report, download the Gould Memorial Library Report PDF available with additional documents on the HPCS Publications and Project Reports page.

HPCS Products Used

Tools Used

Boroscope and remote guided product delivery tool.

Historic Plaster Conservation Services