Project Spotlight: 411 Lafayette Street

August 27, 2021

A Brief History

Named after Marquis de Lafayette, a French general who played an important part during the Revolutionary War, Lafayette Street is a relatively new addition to the Manhattan map. It was created in the early 1900s by extending it south of the formerly exclusive Lafayette Place (running for one block south of Astor Place) and combining it with the roadbeds of the former Marion and Elm Streets. A cutoff section of Elm Street is today’s Elk Street.

411 Lafayette is also called the Durst Building. It features a cast-iron front on the bottom, including two-story columns, and masonry with similar columns between the windows on the three floors above. It is a former men’s clothing store and factory completed in 1894.

Current Conditions

411 Lafayette Street may look a little different these days… After years of weathering, HLZAE has stepped in to perform exterior repairs. The building is located in a landmark district and only six stories tall, so in order for proper restoration all deteriorated historic materials will be replaced by using in-kind materials. Our client is aware of the extensive exterior work to be performed and the associated time to complete the work, so they chose to impose the building onto the netting until the original is restored to its former glory.

The street elevation consists of cast-iron, terra cotta and iron spotted bricks. There is a pediment flanked by lion head sculptures and four finials all constructed out of terra cotta. The terra cotta pediment and finials will be reconstructed while salvaging any units in fair condition and replacing all units beyond repair.

The project scope includes but is not limited to, brick reconstruction, cast-iron repairs and coating refurbishment, lintel reconstruction, railing replacement, brick mortar joint cutting and repointing, parapet reconstruction, corner reconstruction, window replacement, etc. This is an ongoing project, so we look forward to sharing the end results with you. Stay tuned!

How we can help you

At HLZAE, we work closely with building owners, management companies, city agencies like the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and other historic ordinances such as the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to protect the original fabric and historic significance of the city’s structures. Our team assesses a building’s character defining features with the state of deterioration, contributing factors and past repair history to compile an appropriate scope of work. The compiled scope not only considers the importance of the historic and structural integrity of a building but also the financial planning.

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