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5 East Side Landmarks Awarded for Restoration Work

By Shaye Weaver | April 18, 2017 6:01pm
 Five East Side renovation projects are getting awarded in May.
Five East Side renovation projects are getting awarded in May.
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Clockwise from upper left: DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg; OTTO/Peter Aaron; James Ewing; RAND Engineering & Architecture, DPC

MIDTOWN EAST — Five East Side institutions are being recognized for their respective restorations next month along with seven other projects across the city.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy selected the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion, the Park Avenue Armory, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Met Breuer and the Ziel/Starr residence on East 94th Street, as well as the New York Public Library's Rose Reading Room, Bill Blass Catalog Room and Gottesman Hal, as recipients of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for 2017.

The awards spotlight buildings and restorations that preserve the city's history and culture, as well as the economic vitality the preservation provides, according to the Conservancy.

Here's a look at the five locations receiving the honors:

 Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion, 653 Fifth Ave.


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The Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion, built in 1904, may be the last mansion in Midtown, according to the luxury brand. The company moved into the building in 1917 and completely renovated the building to mimic its original grandeur, including preserving the original cerused oak wood paneling and installing more than 30 chandeliers inspired by the originals chosen by Pierre Cartier in 1917. The company completed the two-and-a-half-year project in 2016. A virtual tour is available online.

 The New York Public Library, 476 Fifth Ave.

Credit: NYPL

The Rose Main Reading Room and the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room, both located in the library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue, reopened in October 2016 after more than two years of ceiling restoration. The $12 million in renovations consisted of upgrades to ceilings and light fixtures, as well as the complete recreation of a 100-year-old mural painted by James Wall Finn on the ceiling of the Blass Room. The Rose Room is also home to a mural by Finn that didn't need replacing. Beyer Blinder Belle was the architect of record.

 Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave.

Credit: James Ewing

The Park Avenue Armory, built in 1861 by the National Guard's Seventh Regiment, was originally a social club and military facility. Now a nonprofit arts institution, it began a $200 million renovation of its Veterans' Room, Drill Hall and facade in 2015, with help from Platt Byard Dovell White Architects and Herzog de Meuron. The upgrade respects the original design intent while transforming the room into a state-of-the-art performance space, according to the Conservancy.

 The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Ave.

Credit: Peter Aaron/OTTO

The Met Breuer, which was designed by Marcel Breuer for the Whitney Museum in the 1960s, is now leased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which took over the building after the Whitney moved out in 2014. Architects Beyer Blinder Belle performed a major renovation with structural improvements to restore the building's concrete walls, stone floors, bronze fixtures and lighting, as well as a book bar featuring a curated selection of art texts near the admissions desk. The Met's first exhibition there took place in March 2016.

Ziehl/Starr Residence, East 94th Street

Credit: RAND Engineering & Architecture, DPC
This 1878 brownstone on East 94th Street, which is part of the Expanded Carnegie Hill Historic District, underwent decades of structural changes that stripped away its original details, the Conservancy said. Built as one of nine three-story rowhouses by F.S. Barus, it lost its decorative features and was covered in stucco. Its new owners purchased the building in 2013 and restored it to replicate the original texture, color and details. RAND Engineering & Architecture guided the work. 
The properties will be celebrated at a ceremony at the New York Public Library on May 11.