Moses Awards

The 27th Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards

-Ruth Pierpont, former Director of the State Historic Preservation Office Preservation Leadership Award

-The Honorable Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President Preservation Public Leadership Award

-The Honorable Daniel Garodnick, New York City Council Member, 4th District Preservation Public Leadership Award

-5 Beekman Hotel and Residences 5 Beekman Street, Manhattan

-Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion 653 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

-Lenox Health Greenwich Village 30 Seventh Avenue, Manhattan

-Met Breuer 945 Madison Avenue, Manhattan

-Montauk Club 25 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn

-The New York Public Library Rose Reading Room; Bill Blass Catalog Room and Gottesman Hall 476 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

-Park Avenue Armory 643 Park Avenue, Manhattan

-Randolph Houses Phase I 212 - 252 West 114th Street, Manhattan

-Residences at PS 186 521 West 145th Street, Manhattan

-St. Thomas Church and Parish House 1 West 53rd Street, Manhattan

-South Street Seaport Museum's Wavertree Pier 16, 89 South Street, Manhattan

-Ziehl/Starr Residence Manhattan

May 2017

Moses Awards Applaud Outstanding People and Preservation Projects

This year’s Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards honored dedicated individuals and a dazzling group of buildings, from beloved cultural institutions to affordable housing in Upper Manhattan, to a historic ship at the South Street Seaport. A record-breaking audience of over 500 attended the May 11 ceremony at the New York Public Library, winner of a preservation project award. The awards recognize individual leadership and outstanding restoration work that creates jobs, promotes tourism, and protects the character of the City.

Ruth Pierpont received the Preservation Leadership Award. She recently retired as New York State Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation, where she was an adept manager, articulate advocate, and inspiring leader. Pierpont also served as president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, directing national efforts for preservation.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Dan Garodnick shared the Public Leadership Award for co-chairing the East Midtown Steering Committee. They insisted that the Landmarks Commission move quickly to designate landmarks in that area before a rezoning proposal was completed instead of waiting for the rezoning to conclude, exacerbating development pressure. After the LPC designated 12 landmarks, Garodnick supported all when they came to the Council for affirmation, despite opposition from a powerful real estate company which owns two of the properties.

The Preservation Organization Award went to the Episcopal Diocese of New York’s Property Support Program, which provides financial and project management assistance to over 100 Episcopal parishes which are either locally landmarked or listed on the National and State Registers.

The dozen preservation project awards featured an outstanding array of buildings. (see list below)

NY Landmarks Conservancy_5.12.17 from New York Landmarks Conservancy on Vimeo.


Preservation Leadership Award
Ruth Pierpont, former New York State Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation
Ruth Pierpont recently retired as New York’s Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. Her 27-year career saw her promoted through various positions to direct the Division of Historic Preservation, where she was an adept manager, articulate advocate, and inspiring leader.

Appointed as Deputy Commissioner by Governor Cuomo in 2011, one of her first official acts was to merge the State Historic Preservation Office and the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites under the new umbrella of the New York State Division for Historic Preservation. Pierpont recognized that the State’s Historic Sites would be well-served with an advocate at the executive level. She supervised the creation of four state historic preservation plans, and pushed the agency forward with the development and implementation of CRIS, a GIS-based data gathering and management system that allows the public greater access to and interaction with historic and cultural resources information.

Under her supervision, New York’s National Register program led the nation in the number of listings. Pierpont was a trail-blazer in expanding how the agency considers under-recognized resources, particularly in the areas of LGBT history, such as the Stonewall Inn, and how it defines neighborhoods that represent the lives of ordinary Americans, leading to the listing of the Chinatown & Little Italy and Bowery Historic Districts.

She played a key role in the extraordinary restoration of Grand Central Terminal, a pivotal moment in the City’s renaissance, and in the ongoing initiative to restore and reuse Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Flight Center. Pierpont was instrumental in preserving the South Street Seaport, and landmark buildings on Roosevelt, Governors Islands and Ellis Island. After 9/11, she coordinated the evaluation of the impacts to historic properties at the World Trade Center site.

One of her most significant contributions was the creation of New York State’s game-changing historic tax credit in 2007. The program pairs a credit for historic buildings in distressed census tracts with the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit and created the State’s first homeowner tax credit for preservation. It has led to billions of dollars in investment and tens of thousands of jobs for skilled craftspeople. New York State leads the nation in the number of projects completed with the credits.

She was also deeply involved in congressional advocacy in support of federal historic preservation funding and programs, leading the New York delegation at the annual Preservation Advocacy Week in Washington. Pierpont served as Treasurer, Secretary, and for two terms, as President of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, directing national efforts for preservation support.

Ruth Pierpont was honored by the State Parks Department with a Huddleston Award, its highest honor. She also received the 2011 Secretary of the Interior’s Award “for outstanding achievement in carrying out the National Historic Preservation Act for a State Historic Preservation Office.”

Preservation Public Leadership Awards
The Honorable Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
The Honorable Daniel Garodnick, New York City Council Member, 4th District
Gale Brewer and Daniel R. Garodnick share this Award for co-chairing the East Midtown Steering Committee, and ensuring that landmarks have a significant role in this major rezoning plan. The Steering Committee was formed to provide a planning agenda for the area, following the collapse of a Bloomberg-administration proposal in 2013. Garodnick, the local council member, was instrumental in withholding Council support for that measure, which the Conservancy had opposed, as it ignored preservation and threatened the great masonry buildings surrounding Grand Central Terminal.

Over two years, Brewer and Garodnick attended dozens of Steering Committee meetings, leading to a series of recommendations. Unlike the earlier proposal, the recommendations celebrated landmarks. The co-chairs insisted that the Landmarks Preservation Commission act quickly, to designate new landmarks before the rezoning’s public review began and development pressures increased. The agency designated 12 landmarks in late 2016 and Garodnick supported all 12 when they came for Council affirmation, despite opposition from a powerful real estate company that owns two of the designated properties. Landmarks are integral to the rezoning. They are set to be able to transfer their development rights throughout the area, spurring new construction while generating resources for restoration and maintenance. Those resources would also go toward a fund for public realm improvements.

Gale Brewer has been a champion of landmarks since she represented the Upper West Side on the Council, when she won an individual Public Leadership Award. She has been Manhattan Borough President since 2014. In both offices, she has made preservation and community-based participation in land use issues a priority. When others exclaim that there are too many landmarks, Brewer is well-known for asking why there aren’t even more.

Dan Garodnick represents Manhattan’s East Side from Carnegie Hill to Murray Hill. A life-long resident of Peter Cooper Village, Garodnick has spearheaded initiatives to keep it and Stuyvesant Town affordable. He led a tenant bid to purchase both complexes and attempted to secure landmark designation for these seminal middle-income housing developments. When these efforts were not successful, he negotiated a sale of the buildings that delivered guarantees of affordable housing and protection of open spaces. He was elected in 2005 and will be term-limited out in 2017.

Preservation Organization Award
The Episcopal Diocese of New York Property Support Program
The Property Support Program provides financial and technical assistance to over 100 Episcopal parishes which are either locally-landmarked or listed on the National and State Registers. These buildings range from modest 18th-century churches to impressive 19th- and early 20th-century structures designed and ornamented by some of America’s most acclaimed architects, artists and artisans.

Fifty years ago, the Diocese recognized the challenge of caring for these buildings as it strives to fulfill its mission, and implemented a bold and comprehensive program that assists congregations with capital repairs. This commitment has included the creation of the independent Property Support Program, a revolving loan fund capitalized at over $3.5 million, an annual budget line to fund the program, and restricted endowments to support the program. In addition, Property Support has partnered with a variety of outside organizations to enhance its programming, including the Conservancy.

Since 2006, Property Support has made almost $5 million in grants and an almost equal amount of loan funding to assist congregations with capital repairs. Grants range from a few hundred dollars to research historic paint colors to large, multi-year grants of $150,000 to solve structural problems or re-roof historic buildings.

The Property Support Program has also established a variety of initiatives to incentivize parishes to maintain their buildings. The Consulting Grant Program enables parishes to engage professional expertise to survey, make recommendations, and prepare specifications. Environmental Stewardship Grants fund energy audits, which have revealed that the average parish could reduce energy usage by 27 percent for an annual average savings of over $8,500. The Materials Grant Program provides funding for materials on projects carried out by volunteers. The innovative Roof Reserve Program provides parishes with consulting services and matches their contributions to replace roofs, one of the most critical needs for grand historic religious properties.

This award recognizes an innovative initiative that should serve as a model for other denominations throughout the City and State.

(For lists of all the people who worked on each project – please see our Awards Ceremony Program).

5 Beekman Hotel and Residences
5 Beekman Street, New York

The stunning, skylighted atrium at Temple Court is open once again. Since the 1950s, the atrium in this former office building had been enclosed behind plaster fireproofing, hidden from view except to a few lucky New Yorkers who knew where to find it. Now it is the centerpiece of a new hotel in a compelling rehabilitation that utilized State and Federal Preservation Tax Credits.

This Eclectic-style individual landmark was built in 1883; the nine-story brick, terra-cotta, and stone structure is set off by corner pavilions with pyramidal roofs. The innovative atrium introduced natural light into offices, facilitated circulation, and served as a grand architectural showpiece. Unfortunate alterations by previous owners and tenants removed historic fabric, including all storefronts and entries, and shrouded the atrium.

Repurposed for hotel and residential use, the building’s extensive restoration entailed removing layers of paint; repairing and replacing missing or damaged stone; and installing new wood windows, new storefronts, and a granite entrance. Inside, the hotel lobby now sits at the base of the atrium, which features restored cast-iron walkways and hand rails, refurbished polychrome encaustic-tile flooring, and new wood windows and doors. This project reconnects the City to one of its most unique and stunning interior spaces. Temple Court is once again an iconic destination in lower Manhattan.

Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion
653 Fifth Avenue, New York

The Cartier store on Fifth Avenue was originally a quintessential, neo-Renaissance mansion. Built in 1905 for financier Morton F. Plant – one of J.P. Morgan’s partners – and designed by Robert W. Gibson, the building’s acquisition has a touch of fable: Cartier obtained it in a trade for a $1 million pearl necklace that Plant’s wife Maisie coveted. It was adapted as Cartier’s first free-standing store in New York in 1917. After annexing an adjacent townhouse and reconfiguring the ground floor to provide new storefronts and a primary entrance on Fifth Avenue, the Cartier store underwent periodic renovations but remained essentially intact over the next 100 years.

This project entailed restoration of the stately limestone exterior, and a redesign and reconstruction of the Avenue storefront, based on a never-executed design from 1917. Public retail space was expanded by relocating offices and the workshop to an upper floor. The interiors were completely redesigned in the spirit of an early 20th-century mansion, with a new slab structure that unifies floor levels with the annex and a grand staircase that links all four retail floors. Mahogany paneling was carefully documented and dismantled prior to construction, and refitted in the same location. Totaling 48,000 square feet, the building was fully renovated with modern systems, all discreetly integrated within the store’s historically-inspired interiors.

Lenox Health Greenwich Village
30 Seventh Avenue, New York

The sensitive restoration and adaptation of this mid-century Modern building marks its third use. Albert Ledner designed the 1964 facility, celebrated for its quirky, ship-like design, to serve as the headquarters of the National Maritime Union, when it was known as the Joseph Curran Building. Next it was the O’Toole Building, administrative offices for St. Vincent’s Hospital. When St. Vincent’s closed in 2010, the structure in the Greenwich Village Historic District was nearly lost.

Now it has been reborn as Lenox Health Greenwich Village, Manhattan’s first freestanding emergency department. The interior was renovated with nautical-inspired decorative elements and re-fitted as a leading-edge medical facility. The façade has been returned to its original appearance. Some 18,000 square feet of peeling ceramic tiles, that were not original, but applied in a failed attempt to facilitate maintenance, were removed, and the white concrete facade was restored to its original finish. The glass block ground floor—a distinctive feature of the building’s original design—now encloses the waiting and patient rooms. Ledner’s vision was re-established when perimeter fencing was removed, revealing the contrast of square concrete upper levels floating over the rounded glass block base.

Met Breuer
945 Madison Avenue, New York

Marcel Breuer’s iconic 1966 building – designed for the Whitney Museum – has been restored and adapted as the Met Breuer, a new home for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s modern and contemporary art program.

The once-controversial Brutalist edifice is now an important part of its Upper East Side neighborhood. Now, nearly five decades later, it has undergone a rehabilitation that celebrates Breuer’s design intentions. The scope of work preserved the authentic patina of aging materials and the building’s evolution. Signature attributes – including concrete walls, bluestone floors, bronze fixtures, wood handrails, and lighting – have been restored; and inappropriate or obsolete interventions removed.

To complement the restored interiors, a number of discreet new elements – all inspired by Breuer’s use of sculptural forms and natural materials – are integrated throughout the building, establishing the Met’s presence and introducing a contemporary tone. To accommodate a large number of visitors, planning for the lobby focused on enhancing both circulation and the visitor experience. Retail has been minimized, and visitors are provided with free access throughout the lobby and lower level. Behind the galleries, interior systems received a state-of-the-art upgrade.

Montauk Club
25 Eighth Avenue, Brooklyn

Francis Hatch Kimball’s romantic 1889 Montauk Club is the oldest private club in New York City still operating in its original building commissioned by the club’s founding members. The upper floors are now a residential condominium, and the Club has space in the first and second stories. The picturesque Venetian Gothic style, which was inspired by John Ruskin’s Victorian Gothic aesthetic, appears in the lush detailing found on the facades, which also feature a number of Native American symbols connected with the Montauk tribe.

The free-standing Club was built with a variety of regional materials including Massachusetts brownstone and delicate terra cotta from Queens, as well as brick, clay tile roofing with copper sheet metal, and leaded stained-glass windows. Removal of a balcony in 1940 left severed iron armatures embedded in the walls; as the iron rusted, the surrounding masonry suffered substantial cracking. This comprehensive restoration treated unsafe conditions and waterproofing issues that compromised the building’s integrity and threatened architectural features: the glazed, unglazed, and polychrome terra cotta was repaired or replaced with compatible materials; the bricks cleaned, re-used, and repointed; and the roof has new tiles laid over an upgraded structural system. Always a visual treasure, the Montauk Club is once again a stunning and secure Park Slope mansion.

The New York Public Library
476 Fifth Avenue, New York

After an ornamental plaster rosette weighing over 16 pounds fell from its richly decorated, 52 foot-high ceiling, the New York Public Library’s grand Reading Room, the opulent centerpiece of Carrere & Hasting’s Beaux-Arts masterwork, was closed to the public for over two years.

During that hiatus, professionals examined the rosettes on site and in a lab, probed their anchor system, assessed roof trusses, and surveyed the ceiling for any deficiencies. They determined that a combination of human activity and moisture-related degradation were likely culprits, and introduced multiple treatments to prevent similar outcomes. In order to preserve the original performance of the historic ceiling, the original construction was replicated, along with redundant supports that would engage only if the primary support failed. A new ceiling mural in the adjacent Catalog Room was installed over the existing one, allowing the option of a full restoration in the future; it matches similar murals in the Reading Room, fabricated and installed by the same artisans nearly 20 years ago.

At Gottesman Hall, small pieces of wood had been falling from the ornate, hand-carved Renaissance-style dark oak ceiling for several years. Now this ceiling has also been thoroughly inspected and documented. Craftsmen mimicked the original artists, hand carving and installing elements that had been lost or damaged.

Park Avenue Armory
643 Park Avenue, New York

The re-opening of the elegant Veterans’ Room marks a milestone in the dramatic reclamation of the Park Avenue Armory. The 1861 Armory was built by the National Guard’s Seventh Regiment. Called the “Silk Stocking” regiment, it included prominent New Yorkers such as Vanderbilts, Van Rensselaers, Roosevelts, Livingstons and Harrimans. Built as a military facility and social club, the Armory’s reception rooms were designed by well-known artisans and architects.

Following work on the façade, Drill Hall, and other period rooms, this Award recognizes the totality of this effort and the leadership of Rebecca Robertson and the Thompson family, who carry on the legacy of the late Wade Thompson. Once nearly given up, the Armory is now a revitalized programming and arts space, while still housing a women’s shelter.

The latest revelation is the Veterans’ Room. Tiffany Associated Artists and Stanford White designed the room in 1881. Decorative elements recall the age of chivalry with references to Celtic, Moorish, and Japanese motifs. Heavy iron light fixtures and chainmail decorations are counterbalanced by the glow of turquoise Tiffany tiles at the fireplace, and magnificent leaded-glass window screens. Earlier detrimental interventions have been replaced with treatments that respect the original design intent but recognize the contemporary nature of the room, which has been transformed into a state-of-the-art performance/recital space.

Randolph Houses Phase I
212 – 252 West 114th Street, New York

There has been a remarkable turnaround at the Randolph Houses, where the first phase of a plan to rehabilitate 36 late 19th-century tenements is complete. In the 1960s, NYCHA combined the Renaissance-Revival style buildings and redeveloped them as public housing, naming them for A. Philip Randolph, leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Over the following decades, they fell into significant disrepair. The facades were stripped of ornament, patched haphazardly, and painted gray and pink, while the interiors deteriorated. By the early 2000s, they were emptied and slated for demolition, but following listing on the National Register of Historic Places, New York City issued an RFP for redevelopment as affordable housing.

The historic facades now feature cleaned and repaired brownstone, limestone, and brick; new cast-iron window surround; and new windows and doors. Existing cornices were repaired, and new ones installed where they had long been missing. Interiors were gut-renovated and converted into 168 units of affordable and public housing, along with community spaces. The project, which combined State and Federal historic preservation tax credits with low-income housing tax credits and other City financing, serves as a model for the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings for affordable housing.

Residences at PS 186
521 West 145th Street, New York

After decades of deterioration and ruin, this elegant school building in Harlem has been reborn as the Residences at PS 186. Architect C.B.J. Snyder, Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education, designed the building in the Italian Renaissance Revival style in 1903. It was a centerpiece of its Hamilton Heights community. But after the school closed in the 1970s, a series of ambitious plans failed, and the building was left in perilous limbo, a cause of concern to its neighbors and the preservation community.

A complex financing arrangement, including preservation tax credits, has returned the building to its place of pride. The battered brick and terra cotta exterior is restored with new windows and doors that replicate the original. Snyder’s H-plan interior with its high ceilings, ornamental stair cases, and wood trim, now holds 79 light-filled, subsidized housing units and community space for one of the co-sponsors, the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. Contemporary insertions with glass and chrome accents complement the historic building, and a restored decorative ironwork fence graces the courtyard entrances, welcoming residents to their new home.

St. Thomas Church and Parish House
1 West 53rd Street, New York

Glorious stained glass windows and a magnificent limestone façade are gleaming again at St. Thomas Church and Parish House. Ferguson, Cram and Goodhue designed the French Gothic style church that was completed in 1914. Nearly all of the 33 stained glass windows were designed by Whitefriars Glass, the firm of the great English stained glass artist James Humphries Hogan. The monumental clerestory windows each measure 32’ high by 18’ wide; they are marked with a distinctive, diminutive portrait of a white-robed friar. The windows of St. Thomas are considered by many to be Hogan’s finest designs.

This award comes at the end of a multi-year plan to repair the windows, which were deteriorated and bowed. Altogether, they contain some 9 million pieces of glass; so much that the work was divided among over a dozen studios, from Massachusetts to California. Removing that glass exacerbated existing cracking and movement of the stone tracery, requiring stabilization, in-place pinning, and epoxy-injection repairs. Extensive scaffolding required for the window work facilitated an inspection of the dramatic limestone façade. Years of midtown grit were washed away, allowing the original stonework to shine again.

South Street Seaport Museum’s Wavertree
Pier 16, South Street, New York

The Wavertree is one of the last ships that long ago sailed the world’s oceans driving the trade, immigration, and cultural exchange that made New York the first modern world city. The 132-year old wrought iron sailing ship has been the iconic centerpiece of the “Street of Ships” at the South Street Seaport Museum since 1970.

Wavertree launched from Great Britain in 1885. She circled the globe four times, but after a storm tore down her masts and ended her hauling career, she was salvaged and used as a floating warehouse and a sand barge. In 1968, the Museum saved Wavertree and towed her to New York. The Museum stabilized the vessel but never had the resources to manage a full restoration.

Realizing Wavertree‘s symbolism of New York’s history, the City awarded a $13 million grant resulting in this complete restoration, allowing Wavertree to sail again for the first time in over a century. The entire ship, from stem to stern has been refurbished, including the decks, rigging, masts, and hulls. Once again the focal point of the Museum, Wavertree is now in better condition than she has been in since the early 1900s. And she provides a needed platform for education of maritime history, keeping traditional skills and occupations alive.

Ziehl/Starr Residence
Upper East Side, Manhattan

After the owners of this neo-Grec brownstone purchased it in 2013, they observed the results of a nearby façade restoration, and realized that their own house was in need of improvement. Their brownstone, in the Expanded Carnegie Hill Historic District, dates to 1878, but decades of alterations had stripped away original ornamentation, defining details, and historic character.

The building was one of a group of nine three-story-plus-cellar rowhouses designed by architect F.S. Barus, but it bore little resemblance to historic photographs or other more intact houses from the group. The facade, devoid of all decorative features, was completely covered in stucco; the only remaining original component was a section of the metal cornice. Bringing the house back to its original appearance meant applying a new brownstone mortar that would replicate the historic texture, color, profile, and ornamental details.

The restoration included the addition of historically accurate door enframements, window headers and sills, decorative paneling, and flower rondels. The grand stoop features a balustered railing with newel posts; and new window grilles and fencing grace the areaway. A handsome double-leaf door completes the project, setting a new standard on this block.

More about the history of the Lucy G. Moses Awards
The New York Landmarks Conservancy has been a leader in preserving, restoring, and reusing New York City’s architectural legacy for over 40 years. The Moses Awards are the Conservancy’s highest honors for outstanding preservation work. Named in honor of dedicated New Yorker Lucy G. Moses, the annual Awards have recognized hundreds of leaders, organizations, architects, crafts people, and building owners for their extraordinary contributions in preserving our City.

Preservation Awards are given to projects that demonstrate excellence in the restoration, preservation, or adaptive use of historic buildings, streetscapes, and landscapes that preserve commercial, residential, institutional, religious, and public buildings. Other possible categories include community groups or organizations that foster neighborhood revitalization.

The Preservation Leadership Award is bestowed upon an outstanding individual in the field of historic preservation. Past honorees include Ruth Abram, Wint Aldrich, Tony Avella, Kent Barwick, John Belle, Simon Breines, Giorgio Cavaglieri, Kenneth Cobb, Stanley Cogan, Joan K. Davidson, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Franny Eberhart, Lola Finkelstein, Kenneth K. Fisher, Christopher Gray, James Marston Fitch, Margot Gayle, Anne Van Ingen, Judith Kaye, Sarah Bradford Landau, Helen M. Marshall, Joan Maynard, Evelyn and Everett Ortner, Nancy and Otis Pratt Pearsall, Adolf K. Placzek, Charles Platt, Jan Hird Pokorny, Henry Hope Reed, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, Vincent Scully, and Robert Silman.

Photo credits: Gale Brewer photo by Tequila Minsky; Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion by John Bartlestone; Lenox Health Greenwich Village by Chris Cooper courtesy of Perkins Eastman; Montauk Club by © 2016 j.m.kucy |; Met Breuer by Peter Aaron/OTTO; New York Public Library Rose Reading Room by Max Touhey; Park Avenue Armory Veterans’ Room by James Ewing; St. Thomas Church and Parish House by Walter B. Melvin Architects; Randolph Houses Phase I by Bernstein Associates, Phtographers; Residences at PS 186 by David Sundberg/ESTO courtesy of Dattner Architects; 5 Beekman Hotel and Residences by Richard Barnes: Wavertree by Paul Margolis/South Street Seaport Museum: and Ziehl/Starr Residence by RAND Engineering & Architecture, DPC. Any additional images courtesy of project architects.