Interior and exterior renovation of Engine Company 23, a Landmark, Beaux-Arts fire house in midtown Manhattan. The program includes new kitchen, dining, lounge, and living quarters as well as restoration of the histroric masonry facade.
Located at 215 West 58th Street, Engine Company 23 sits just east of the future driveway for 220 Central Park South, which will eventually rise 950 feet, and across the street from the back of the future Nordstrom Tower, which will eventually rise 1,550 feet. To put this in context, our little fire house is 60 feet tall.
Over 100 years old, the existing firehouse certainly shows its age. But there are many beautiful origninal features that should be preserved.
Engine Company 23 was listed as an historic landmark in 1989, which means that any exterior work undertaken needed to be approved by the Landmark's Preservation Commission. In this case, we were proposing new mechanical equipment on the roof, as well as the restoration of the front facade. These design proposals necessitated a full public review by the LPC, as well as Manhattan's Community Board 5.
In the the design phase, during a routine roof inspection, it was discovered that the facade's upper cornice, contructed of solid limestone blocks, was showing signs of structural failure. After consulting with the structural engineer and a masonry conservation specialist, it was decided that the entire upper portion should be rebuilt. I worked with both sub-consultants to draw up a strategy that was both structurally sound and respected the facade's original character.
The project brief called for: