In 1985 while at art school here in NYC, I worked as a moldmaker for a company that created mostly cast stone but some terra cotta replica stones for the fledgling restoration industry of the day. That year we produced some lovely, and quite convincing pigmented precast replicas of rusticated brownstone. We used rubber site molds of the existing rock-cut surfaces to create plaster positives of the correct size. We then made rubber and wood production molds and the eventual cast pieces.
This was all done for the restoration of the Gramercy at 34 Gramercy Park East. I am happy to report that thirty years on the stones are holding up well and so in general am I. In the Summer of 2015, CTA completed a gleaming restoration of 36 Gramercy Park East using new glazed architectural terra cotta pieces to match the original. So in thirty years I have made it exactly one street address North. Excellent progress I’d say.
Views of 34 and 36 Gramercy Park East brought to you by Daniel Allen.