IS 126Q - Albert Shanker School for the Visual & Performing Arts

31-51 21st Street, Astoria, NY

This SHPO listed structure had suffered extensive interior damages due to water infiltration from the roof and exterior envelope. Water had penetrated through the deteriorated brickwork into the back up terracotta walls, which are very porous. Some of this water had found its way into the cavities of the glazed terracotta cornices and water table elements, creating cracks and spalls. The structure was declared dangerous, and a sidewalk bridge installed along the perimeter.

As part of the restoration and renovation project, the entire faced was stripped down, and the masonry face brick and terracotta elements replaced in entirety. A drainage plane was added behind the face veneer to prevent water infiltration into the terracotta back up, which was selectively replaced. Structural enhancements in the form of box beams were added at the perimeter to support the cast stone elements securely, and conform to current building codes. The roofing was replaced at all levels.

Sen Architects did due diligence in conducting research into the original building details of the original structure. Most original elements were reintroduced, budget permitting in the rehabilitation efforts.

These efforts have given a new lease of life to this structure, which is the most dominant structure in the neighborhood.


Completion: December 2011
Project Cost: $15.5M
Role of Firm: Prime Consultants, Architects & Historic Preservation Specialists.
Client: NYC School Construction Agency