421 East 88th Street, New York, NY 10028
Public School 66M, located in the Upper East Side in Manhattan, was built in the early 1920's. It is a Landmark designated structure with the NYS Historic Preservation Office. In 2009, the elaborate Terra Cotta Cornices, distinctive high entablature were in a state of disrepair, The exterior masonry had developed cracks and was spalling, resulting in moisture infiltration into the rear of the masonry bearing wall. The aim of the project was to resolve all these issues and make the building watertight and safe.
Since the existing records were not available, careful coordination with SHPO, extensive probes and documentation of existing conditions was done prior to completion of Construction Documents. The entire parapet with its elaborate terra Cotta elements was removed and replaced to match the original. This was achieved by making wax molds of the existing and creating new Terra Cotta elements. Apart from the identical elements, the structure was completely modernized to meet current codes especially as related to seismic codes. An important feature that was completely replaced was the elaborate Terra Cotta entablature at the head of the top floor. This was done is close coordination with the Gladding McBean, the California Company specializing in Landmark terra Cotta work. All the windows were replaced and the masonry skin of the facade was selectively removed and replaced with matching bricks and coursing.
The result is a structure that the NYC Public School system can be proud of, and one that is a cherished symbol and asset of the users and this thriving residential neighborhood.