Recognition

Three projects that OSE worked on have won 2021 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards from the New York Landmarks Conservancy. That’s good news and, considering that the awards are given to the project as a whole, it’s good news for a lot of firms other than just us. Our congratulations to all, since successful completion of a project is always the result of work by multiple people at multiple firms. I want to briefly describe the three projects, as they run the full range of possible involvement.

First, is the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, seen above and below. I’ve written about this project multiple times, so I’m summarize it rebuilding the exterior shell of the building after a catastrophic fire. This is only the first phase of the reconstruction work, but the others obviously depend on this scope having been completed. Our work here was a larger percentage of the total than in a normal project, but still performed in coordination with the Zivkovic Connolly Architects, G. P. J. O’Donoghue Contracting Corp., and Feinstein Iron Works.

Second is the Central Presbyterian Church, where we were in our most usual role, providing structural engineering in support of an architectural restoration by Walter B. Melvin Architects and the design of a new mechanical equipment installation by Goldman Coopeland Consulting Engineers.

The third is Nine Orchard Street, where we working on a small but knotty facade masonry problem for the general contractor, O&D Builders. We were not the engineers for the overall project and may well very not be listed as one of the contributing firms on the award.

It is something of a cliché that engineers don’t get recognition, but it really is true. The first article that came up in a web search when I looked for the Steinway Tower – the most slender of the slender super-tall skyscrapers on Billionaires Row – mentions two different architecture firms involved with the building but not the structural engineer. Given that it is one of the tallest and most slender buildings in the world, you’d think the engineers might be mentioned. For the record, it’s WSP. Engineers get used to this neglect, and I think take some kind of perverse pride in working behind the scenes. When you’re in this position, the work has to be its own reward, and I will say that we try as hard to get the right solution when our work is as obscure as it can be as we do when it is central, as at St. Sava.

In any case, yay! Awards! I’ll write more about the projects when the Lucy Moses virtual ceremony rolls around in May.

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