Manhattan Armory Recognized for Preservation

69th Regiment Armory

New York – Hoffmann Architects + Engineers announced that the historic facade rehabilitation and window replacement at the 69th Regiment Armory has been selected for the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s recognition for outstanding preservation efforts.

“This project is an exemplary candidate for the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards because of its careful, thorough, and detailed efforts to maintain the historic integrity of the armory and its architectural components,” said Kara L. Shypula, assoc. AIA, senior project manager with Hoffmann Architects + Engineers and one of the lead designers on the project. “The window replacement preserves historic character while seamlessly integrating contemporary performance standards unique to the building’s use as an active military facility.”

The 69th Regiment Armory, at 68 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, was completed in 1906. The building is one of the first armories from the period to jettison the prevailing medieval-inspired castellated style in favor of Beaux-Arts architecture. The armory remains an active military complex for the Army National Guard. Given the building’s distinctive architecture and storied history, it is registered as a New York City Landmark, listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Integral to the armory’s character are its classically configured wood-frame windows. Tall and narrow at the ground floor, branching into tripartite groups in stone-trimmed oriels at the main level, then piercing the Mansard slate and copper roof at upper stories, the symmetrical windows define and ornament the masonry facades.

Concerned about deterioration and inoperability of the existing windows, the New York State Office of General Services retained Hoffmann Architects + Engineers to conduct an investigation and provide recommendations for rehabilitation. After a meticulous window-by-window study, Hoffmann’s team concluded that, due to the advanced degree of deterioration, one-for-one replacement of all existing windows and frames would be the best approach.

The design team at Hoffmann also had to consider the very modern demands of a secure Army property. The window design, therefore, met the safety and security standards established by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, as well as the latest energy codes.

Integrating insulating glazing units that met Department of Defense anti-terrorism performance standards for blast resistance was a challenge when maintaining the original window profiles. Add to this the compound difficulty of incorporating specialized coatings and air cavities within windows to achieve Energy Conservation Code requirements, as well as securing the heavier multi- pane units in the wall openings, and getting the designs just right was a massive undertaking.

The Conservancy will present the Moses Awards at a gala event on April 19 at 6:00pm at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan.