Lucy Moses Award: The Hadrian

Old Structures is proud to have worked on four projects that won Lucy Moses Awards last week. First up, the Hadrian, a 1903 apartment house at Broadway and 80th Street. (That picture is from 1910 and gives a good feeling what it looked like in the early years.) Most of the real-estate boom at the Upper West Side followed the opening of the IRT subway in 1904; the developer of this building took a gamble that the subway would be successful.

The building has a cage frame, with cast-iron columns as part of the interior frame, and a self-supporting exterior wall. Over the years it developed some structural problems at areas where the walls were thinnest, and at the projecting balconies and cornice. Working with an lightened owner (George Beane of A. R. Walker) who chose to treat this unlandmarked building as if it were designated, with Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, and with Preserv as the restoration contractor, we worked to design repairs to the facades. Our scope included replacing the damaged steel brackets at the balconies, which allowed Pokorny and Preserv to replace old and poor-designed ornamental brackets with new pieces to match the original design. The architectural scope included removing a coating from the masonry that had changed the buildings color and replacing the cornice. We got to design the fun part of the cornice – the interior steel frame – while JHPA was stuck with the only the visible portions of it.

One of the oddities of this type of project is that the building now looks much as it did in 1910, which means it looks significantly different than it did in 2010.

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