20 West 44th Street

Industry Sector:

Public Facilities & Institutions

Services Provided:

Terra Cotta Replacements

Cast Iron Repairs

Limestone, Terra Cotta, Brick Masonry Cleaning and Repointing

Project Overview

The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen is a 7-story institutional building located in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood. The building was finished in 1891 and is a pre-war building. Our work consisted of investigating the conditions at the street façade, developing the repair scope of work, bidding and construction administration. A 9th Cycle FISP Report was filed after completion. The scope of work addressed deteriorated elements of the street façade. The job started with the repair and full repainting of the two decorative fire escapes at the sides of the elevation, which showed signs of substantial deterioration. While performing these repairs, additional conditions were observed, which were added to the scope of work. The most relevant items added to the scope of work were the cleaning of 100% of the brick masonry, terra cotta and stone units, the repointing of the mortar joints at the entire street façade, the replacement of most of the terra cotta units at the watertable, and the resetting and repair of the attachments of the sheet metal cornice at the top of the building.

In addition, the scope of work also included minor items, like the replacement of cracked brick masonry and the patching of cracked terra cotta and stone units at spot locations. The façade was cleaned with a light duty paint remover, applied at a low pressure to avoid damaging the surface of the existing brick masonry and terra cotta units. Upon completion, the existing beige coating covering the terra cotta and stone units was removed, revealing the original orange glazing and limestone shades, and most of the soiling present on the brick masonry were cleaned, exposing the original 2-tone color of the bricks. The fire escapes and the window frames were painted in their entirety to match the original color found with the paint analysis performed at the beginning of the project. The street façade was brought back to its original appearance, with its concert of colors.