The Rodin Studios
200 West 57th Street, NY, NY
"By the start of the 20th century, West 57th Street had become a major cultural center. The French Renaissance-Style Rodin Studios were built in 1916-17 to provide studios and residences for professional artists. Designed by Cass Gilbert, architect of the Woolworth Building, the principal elevations are embellished with late Gothic and Neo-Classical motifs executed in rough buff-colored brick and molded terra cotta. Cast iron canopies, inspired by Medieval choir stalls, project from between the bays of double-height windows. The building named to honor the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, was converted to commercial use in 1968." - New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation 2004
The inspections of the building's façade, performed by Zaskorski & Associates Architects revealed extensive damage to the 90 year old Rodin Studios. The 700 cornice terracotta pieces were determined to be unstable and unsafe. The cornice was replaced to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's specifications with glass fiber reinforced concrete. Fabricated locally, it is lighter and stronger than the original terracotta.
Extensive cast iron restoration of the decorative bats, ravens, and grapevine motifs were undertaken. And, as no brick was found to match the original brick, 10,000 perfectly matched bricks with varying blue, sienna beige, and white slip glaze were fabricated.
In the building lobby, the original plaster coffered ceiling was repaired and restored to its original polychromatic quality.
Over a period of 3 years, the restoration aimed to faithfully duplicate the original quality and design of the original.