Shutter Dogs

(top right: shuttle pintle bottom right: shutter dogs)

Preservation architects have a plethora of skill sets. Some we perform everyday, others not so often. We suspend from sides of buildings to review facades up close. We develop intricate details for modern interventions into historic fabric. Rarely, though, do we get the opportunity to observe, catalogue, and organize historic shutter hardware! CTA was tasked with reviewing salvaged shutter hardware, testing it’s operability, and cataloguing each piece for possible reuse or replication. We will then incorporate detailed drawings of these pieces into the restoration drawings, calling out existing pieces to be restored and reinstalled, or for new pieces to be made to match the existing. 

by Chelsea Brandt


The Character is in the Details

Downtown Manhattan is a perfect location to see the evolution of New York City's architecture throughout the 20th and 21st century. When buildings from these eras are juxtaposed, one of the most obvious differences may be the staggering heights that the newer buildings are able to reach. At the same time, the lack of ornamentation in the newer buildings brings forth the unique character and attention to detail that the older buildings have shown through their ornamentation.


Whether it is a sculpture, a scroll, or even a geometric mosaic, ornamentation helps give a building its identity and gives it a narrative and a place in time. From atop 57 Reade Street I had an opportunity to observe two great pieces of terra cotta, a centurion and a lion head. 


"But the building's identity resided in the ornament."

-Louis Sullivan

By Fabian Yang


36 Gramercy in Habitat Magazine


One of our favorite projects was just featured on Habitat Magazine's website. We are thrilled to see this award winning facade restoration getting some much deserved press. 

"We used a boom crane to access the facade, sound-testing each terra cotta piece with a sculptor’s hammer and numbering each piece for removal, restoration, replication, and/or reassembly.” -Dan Allen

read more here --->


Above Broadway

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Twelve stories above the corner of Broadway and Walker Streets in Tribeca sits the magnificent cornice of 395 Broadway.  The 1901 sheet metal cornice was in sad condition when CTA began working on the restoration of the building in 2000.  Pieces of the ornate pressed metal were missing and in some cases the metal had corroded through leaving holes.

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In order to confirm that there was no major damage to the supporting structure we cut a sizable hole in  the top surface wood decking and climbed down into the hollow cornice.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that the early Twentieth Century steel and brick support structure was in remarkably good condition.  Another surprise - when we looked down we saw intermittent flashes of yellow.  Turns out that we  were so far out over the street these flashes of yellow were taxis going down Broadway as viewed through the holes in the sheet metal.  

34. Cornice Comp.JPG

brought to you by Dan Allen


Good News for Irish Hunger Memorial

We are thrilled to see our completed work at the Irish Hunger Memorial being featured in both the Tribeca Trib and on the front cover of this past week's Irish Voice Newspaper. Proud to be involved in such an important project for the city of New York and for the Irish community.

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Manhattan Memorial

a metaphor for Ireland’s Great Hunger, a reminder that hunger exists today.

Closed since last August...

for waterproofing repairs, Battery Park City’s Irish Hunger Memorial officially reopened on Friday.


The view from the Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building roof at 55 Hansen Place, looking towards Brooklyn Heights and Lower Manhattan. 

Born in 1924 in Brooklyn, New York, Shirley Chisholm, spent some of her childhood years living with her grandmother in Barbados, before returning to her parents in New York to complete her education.

After qualifying as a teacher she worked in childcare, where she developed an interest in politics. She served in the New York state assembly, then made history in 1968, becoming the first African American woman elected to the US Congress.

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."


Check out #IKNOWNOW to read more facts about Chisholm.

Brought to you by Bradley Heraux


New York Movie Moments

Long before I lived in New York, I longed to live in New York, and I blame my geographical preoccupation on my pop-cultural ones. In particular, I attribute my long-tended New York love affair to the movies. 

See, everything seems more iconic when it’s in a movie, and no city is more iconic than New York. Combining the two, then, is like an ouroboros of iconography from which there is no escape, and no moment in film better cements this feeling than the beginning of Woody Allen’s Manhattan

Sure, the combination of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Gordon Willis’s black-and-white cinematography is so transformative it makes neon parking signs romantic, but one of the things I’ve only come to appreciate in my years since I’ve worked at CTA is how much architecture plays a role in New York City’s iconographic stature. And not just in Manhattan, but in every New York movie.

The Empire State Building isn’t just an art deco prop to be climbed by King Kong or blown up by aliens in Independence Day. It’s the culminating efforts of architectural design. When you think about it like that, you realize that every one of the buildings that stretches up from the streets and dots the skyline is the product of architectural vision, and while the movies might make the images, architects are the unspoken artists that have made these indelible images that bring so many of us to New York City possible.

"New York Movie Moments" -by Ben Horner