Moses Awards

The 25th Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards

Moses Awards - April 30, 2015 at The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph (856 Pacific Street, Brooklyn) photo: Whitney Cox

-Preservation Leadership Award Honoree Christopher Gray, Landmarks Conservancy President Peg Breen, and Conservancy Chair Lloyd Zuckerberg Photo by James Salzano

Project Award: 901 Broadway, Manhattan

Project Award: 1000 Dean and Berg'n, Brooklyn (photo: Jonathan Chesley/Selldorf Architects)

Project Award: Conrad B. Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse, Brooklyn (photo: Christopher Payne/GSA)

Project Award: El Barrio's Artspace PS 109, Manhattan (photo: Christopher Lopez)

Project Award: Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights (photo: Whitney Cox)

Project Award: The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Brooklyn (photo: Whitney Cox)

Project Award: Kerwin Residence, Manhattan

Project Award: Kings Theatre, Brooklyn (photo: Matt Lambros)

Project Award: The Players, Manhattan (photo: Rick Bruner)

Project Award: Schooner Lettie G. Howard, New York Harbor

Project Award: SculptureCenter - Long Island City, Queens (photo: Michael Moran/OTTO)

Project Award: Tavern on the Green - Central Park, Manhattan

April 30, 2015
The Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Brooklyn

An Evening of Preservation Celebration at the 25th Moses Awards

More than 500 people gathered at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn to applaud an impressive list of Moses Award winners from across the City.

The Lucy G. Moses Awards are the Conservancy’s highest honors for outstanding preservation and this year’s awards ranged from a major theatre and church restoration to saving a former East Harlem school from demolition.

The Preservation Leadership Award went to journalist and architectural historian Christopher Gray.

CLICK HERE for Event Photos

Thank you, to the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, Inc. for making the award event possible.

More Information on the Honorees

Christopher Gray has been researching and writing about New York City’s buildings for 40 years. He is best known for the “Streetscapes” column, which ran in the New York Times from 1987 to 2014. The weekly column revealed hidden stories behind buildings many New Yorkers thought they knew, and enlightened readers on buildings they might have overlooked. With masterful writing and engaging stories, Gray thrilled architecture buffs while educating the public about the beautiful and eccentric buildings that fill New York’s streets. He is also the founder of the Office for Metropolitan History, which investigates the history of New York City buildings. The firm focuses on archival study and maintains a collection of 40,000 4×5 film negatives, 18,000 photographs, and 8,000 architectural drawings, many of which date back to the late 19th century.

The first tenant of 901 Broadway, an 1870 commercial building near Union Square was Lord and Taylor. When the store moved in 1914, the picturesque French Second Empire property was used for manufacturing and retail at the ground floor. After years of deterioration, this project has restored the decorative cast iron and the slate roof. The signature pavilion at the corner of 20th Street and Broadway now welcomes visitors to Brooks Brothers on the lower floors, and mixed-use residential and office space on the upper levels.

A group of investors, led by the founder of the popular Brooklyn architecture blog, acquired and rehabilitated two abandoned Crown Heights buildings and adapted them as 1000 Dean and Berg’n. They now serve as a center of Brooklyn’s creative community. Once a Studebaker service station and adjacent garage that fill much of a block, they now house office and studio space, as well as a food hall. The industrial features of the facades and open interiors remain, juxtaposed with contemporary design elements.

The Brooklyn Diocese elevated the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, just blocks from the Barclays Center, to Co-Cathedral status in 2013. In anticipation of the rededication, the brick, granite, and terra cotta exterior was restored, with new slate roofs and restored stained glass windows. At the interior, much was originally unadorned, except for painting on the apse ceiling and walls. Those historic murals, along with decorative plaster and scagliola, mosaics, woodwork, and tarnished murals were conserved and restored. New painting based on the historic color palette and new murals, including one of the 12 American saints now adorn the interior.

The granite and terra cotta façade of the former Brooklyn Post Office, now the Conrad B. Duberstein U.S. Bankruptcy Courthouse has been restored in a masterful effort. The massive Romanesque Revival structure had suffered water infiltration and deterioration for many years. Every aspect of work considered several options that measured investment, maintenance, and sustainability. The final scope included restoring or replacing 75,000 square feet of the granite and terra cotta facades, 15,800 pieces of terra cotta, 25,000 square feet of slate roof, sheet metal flashing and gutters, 1,200 wood windows, and installation of a substantial bird deterrent system to protect this icon of civic architecture in the heart of downtown Brooklyn.

The Conservancy worked with community advocates to save PS 109, an East Harlem school designed by CBJ Snyder, when the City planned to demolish it in the late 1990s, getting it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1898 Collegiate Gothic building had suffered from years of neglect and deterioration when Minneapolis-based Artspace teamed with the local El Barrio Operation Fightback to invest $52 million, restore the exterior and rehabilitate and adapt the interior for use as affordable housing and studio space for local artists in the rechristened El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109.

Both the interior and exterior of Grace Episcopal Church (Brooklyn Heights), a mid-19th century Richard Upjohn church have been restored, to stunning effect. The removal of layers of brown overpaint on the wood-and-plaster interior revealed a dazzling polychrome paint scheme, with a magnificent blue-and-gold starburst pattern at the ceiling. Previously, it had only been seen in black and white photographs. A new copper roof and repairs to the brownstone will protect the sanctuary. The project also improved electrical, plumbing, lighting, hvac, and heating systems at this landmark church.

The Kerwin Residence on the Upper West Side is an 1886 row house, designed by Rafael Gustavino, Sr. It is one of a row that was all painted red and white, but when the paint started peeling, the owners were surprised to see an entirely different palette emerge. They did not act immediately, but in 2012, after consultation with architects and Guastavino scholars, undertook a plan to restore the façade, which features natural red brick and terra cotta with red mortar, buff-colored brick, light-green sandstone with matching mortar, light-green painted sheet metal, and a dark brownstone stoop. They no longer match the neighbors, but are much closed to history.

The most exuberant restoration of the year is the Kings Theatre, one of five former “Wonder Theaters” the Loew’s Corporation built in the late 1920s. The Kings, closed in 1977 and long deteriorated, was the focus of a $90 million renewal effort funded by public and private sources. Following historic research and materials analysis, a color scheme sympathetic to the original was established, with new painted plaster surfaces, gilded ornament, new wood work, textiles, and metal fixtures. All new interior systems will allow for theatrical and musical performances.

Years of deterioration had led to precarious conditions at The Players, the home of the Players Club on Gramercy Park. The Stanford White-designed brownstone façade and portico were crumbling; wood windows, ironwork, and stained glass were also failing. New brownstone was sourced and carved; the stained glass carefully removed from the frames and repaired off-site; and the wood windows and cornice restored. Research revealed a decorative floral motif at the brownstone capitals and a historic paint scheme that had once been lost and were both re-established.

Volunteers from the South Street Seaport Museum and students from the Harbor School, a maritime-themed public high school, came together to restore the Schooner Lettie G. Howard, one of the last still-sailing Fredonia-style fishing schooners in the country. They brought the 1893 ship to Maine for structural and hull repairs, and then completed restoration of the deck while the Lettie was docked in New York Harbor. Now she is certified for sailing and for service as a sailing school vessel, where every student aboard is a crewmember.

A new addition and connecting courtyard both enlarge and enhance the Long Island City home of SculptureCenter. The original 1908 building, once a trolley repair shop, had been lightly renovated when the Center moved in, in 2001. This project increased space by 50%, allowing for many missing museum functions, such as a reception area and bookshop, as well as addition gallery space. New Cor-Ten steel doors on the original gallery match the exterior of the addition and reinforce the building’s industrial heritage.

After the well-known Tavern on the Green restaurant closed, the City decided to re-invent the venue, removing decades of inappropriate additions, and restoring the picturesque building. The Victorian Gothic pavilions were designed by Jacob Wrey Mould in 1871 to serve as a sheepfold and caretaker’s cottage. Conversion to restaurant use and over 20,000 square feet in additions radically altered the space. This renovation reduced the size in half, peeling away ungainly additions to reveal beautiful red brick facades, restoring damaged polychrome slate roofs, and replacing oversized window openings with more historically appropriate fenestration. The Tavern is once again the jewel of Central Park.