It's a Match!

This terra cotta lion head (left) was replaced with glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) lion head (right) from Vestacast. The GFRC replacements provide an identical match to color, form and iron spots in comparison with the original.




by Bradley Heraux


Old San Juan


So let me suckle on the
Sun-baked breast that was
This day and pour
Its glory over my head
With the baptismal sea
Til I can't see a thing

Let it all come now
The old woman with withered hand gripping
The wilted cane by the weathered church
The young girl shy and sly by the shore
The lovers lost in a moment we cannot penetrate
The hungry doves that do not ask but wait for a kindness
The reluctant pilgrim pushing onward
The relentless lullaby of the waves
The prodigal stranger in his native womb

Ancestral bones lying by the waves
Let this all come
Absolve me of the
Life-drenched-light-stained collar
That gives pause to the jealous night
Then Lord, let it pass

--Guillermo Veloso


by Bohan Liu


One Does Want a Hint of Color

I like color. And not just regular color, but bold color, bright color, pastel color. I’ve had hair that might be best described as “watermelon eleganza,” my wardrobe’s color palette suggests I’m ready year-round for an Easter egg hunt (with me dressed as the Easter egg), and I was once told that I looked like the interior design from Golden Girls. Kinder words have truly never been spoken, so needless to say I was fainting-chaise-bound for a solid month after that compliment.


As such, I’m always delighted whenever I come across a kindred spirit (aesthetically speaking) for work, so when I encountered this lobby during a site visit a few weeks ago, it quite obviously spoke to me. (“You? Love this lobby? Well color me shocked,” said nobody ever.) My point is that for someone who loves color as much as me, it’s odd to then find myself working with architects, what with their love of black and all. Sure, black is a color, too, but where’s the fun in that?

Seriously, it’s like Nathan Lane said in The Birdcage: “One does want a hint of color.” I’m just not sure what he meant by “hint”…



by Ben Horner


micro - micro - micro - microscopy

Much like studying the rings of a tree, microscopy allows us to learn the history of a building through tiny pant, mortar, plaster, render and coating samples.  The analysis of these samples are used to document alterations to historic buildings, identify historic paint colors, and develop conservation treatments.



The perks of almost flying...

For architects that are regularly on construction sites, closely involved with the implementation of the exterior repairs that we designed, there is a lot of noise, a lot of dust and a lot of stained clothes.

But  then, there is also the "immensity" of this: hanging from scaffolds and trailing roof tops, almost flying, and taking in New York City like a hawk.


-Ana Ribeiro


New York is Weird:


Working in New York is weird. Sometimes during a site visit you see a lion with makeup on a fence, other times you see a contractor trying to dry 100+ year old brick outside with a heater. And then there are the walls built on air. All in the name of preserving this old city. 





by Amanda Mullen


A Cat Sanctuary

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I went to Roosevelt Island because I heard that the abandoned smallpox hospital is currently a cat sanctuary. I did not see one cat! I did however enjoy the beautiful views and a ride on the Tram.   


The Renwick Smallpox Hospital was designed by the architect James Renwick, Jr. Though formally trained as an engineer, he became a self-taught architect by the age of 25.


In 1976, the building was designated a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.




When all of these iterations are collaged together it is hard to notice the small differences, the shifts of spaces, the changes in circulation and the movements of the outside wall. They all look similar, like a repeated idea over and over, but each shift is significant is some way. It moves the design forward or into a new direction, you don’t know exactly where you’re going in each iteration, but it gets you somewhere. Like trial and error, design is a development of iterations, a series of thoughts affecting the next.



-by Alexis Richbart


Highly recommend taking a tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard (plus AIA credits people!)

The Navy Yard once employed 70,000 workers, both naval and civilian, building military vessels until 1966. It still operates today as a center for industrial development, and with an added consideration for sustainability (in the design of Building 92, open to the public - a LEED Platinum rated building), in the industries growing there (technology, whiskey distillery, The Grange - the largest rooftop garden in NYC), and engaging with the public to revitalize the idea of industry as a meaningful career path for young adults. 

At the height of its operation, 10,000 women worked at the Navy Yard. Half of those women were welders, the other half worked in administrative positions. Below is a photograph of a group of women leaving the Sand Street exit after their shift (dated from WWII). The woman in the middle is carrying a bottle of milk. Milk was known to dilute the metallic taste welders would get from working. 

Every Friday, all 70,000 workers were paid from the Paymaster’s Building. To alleviate the congestion of that many people filing in to be paid, a trolley car drove around to pay some employees.


Today the building, a distillery, looks like this:





by Alanna Jaworski