Technical Assistance

Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress

Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
The Landmark Salmagundi Arts Club
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Conservancy Director of Technical Services, Alex Herrera
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Discussion Panel
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Bowne and Company Print Shop, South Street Seaport
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Post-Sandy Panel Discussion: Preservation, Prevention and Progress
Bowne and Company Print Shop, South Street Seaport

January 28, 2013

The Conservancy and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation co-sponsored a panel discussion titled “Superstorm Sandy: Preservation, Prevention and Progress” at the Salmagundi Club.

Conservancy Technical Director Alex Herrera joined Robert Pirani of the Regional Plan Association and Michael Devonshire of Jan Hird Pokorny Architects on the panel. Robert Rogers of Rogers Marvel Architects moderated.

The discussion began with an analysis of the sorts of damage done to different parts of the city with an emphasis on historic buildings. Alex Herrera detailed several of the Conservancy’s post-Sandy emergency grants to historic structures. Michael Devonshire went into great detail about one of our grantees, the Bowne and Company print shop that is part of the South Street Seaport Museum.

Panelists discussed various strategies for possibly minimizing future damage such as the construction of higher seawalls along our waterfront parks and the creation of new waterfront marsh areas. A lot of discussion centered on how to renovate existing buildings so as to make them less vulnerable to rising water in neighborhoods that experienced flooding for the first time during Sandy.

After the presentation, there was a lively discussion with the 95 member audience. Many of the attendees were fascinated by the idea of surge barriers such as the ones built in the Netherlands and in Venice. However the feasibility of such barriers was questioned for NYC both in terms of their great cost and whether they would actually work.

More specific questions were also asked about replacing mechanical systems ruined by Sandy. Panelists recommended elevating new boilers off the floor and placing new wiring high on walls.

This sort of dialogue is just beginning as the City grapples with the possibility of bigger and more frequent storms due to climate change. The Department of Buildings is already working on new building codes for buildings in flood prone areas. The permanent response to Sandy is really just beginning. As the City moves forward, the Conservancy will remain engaged in this crucial topic.

Learn more about the Conservancy’s Post-Sandy assistance.