General Services Administration, Brooklyn, NY
Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award Winner
The Conrad Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse has received a 2014 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, the highest honor possible for excellence in preservation, from the New York Landmarks Conservancy. The 6-year exterior restoration of the monumental Romanesque Revival style building, owned by the U. S. General Services Administration (GSA), addressed approximately 75,000 square feet of granite and terra cotta facades; replacing almost 16,000 pieces of terra cotta and repairing or replacing more than 1,200 wood windows – all while the building remained operational and fully occupied.
Throughout design and construction, the combined expertise of an outstanding team delivered exceptional project results. Selected through the GSA design excellence program, the Goody Clancy team included preservation architect James Rhodes, structural engineers Silman, architectural conservators Jablonski Building Conservation, building-survey technicians Vertical Access, and environmental engineers Vidaris. The construction team was led by Nicholson & Galloway with Femenella Associates (for windows), and fabricators Boston Valley Terra Cotta. Lend Lease and SuperStructures provided Construction Management to the GSA project team.
Special Project Highlights:
- The building team collaborated with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), New York State Historic Preservation Office, and the GSA Regional Historic Preservation Officer to ensure the restoration met the Secretary of Interior’s standards, and to determine the best materials and methods for restoration.
- The 4-year construction duration was driven by long lead times for the fabrication of 16,000 pieces of terra cotta by Boston Valley Terra Cotta.
- The age of the building dictated that we use a combination of old and new survey techniques, ranging from existing conditions survey using TPAS (tablet PC annotation system) to exploratory probes.
- Our team exhaustively researched materials as replacement alternatives, taking into consideration life cycle cost analysis and environmental impacts, in order to best preserve the historical appearance.
- This massive restoration involved the added complexity of working on a tight urban site at a building which occupies a full city block and while it remained fully occupied, requiring extraordinary attention to security and occupancy privacy.
- The project was meticulously delivered with superb craftsmanship and techniques by a unique team able to address and solve multiple challenges in materials, structural integrity and construction.