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New York State Appellate Division Courthouse Renovation

Thoughtful restoration, careful repair, and extensive roof replacement protect a majestic Manhattan landmark.
  • Exterior view of the distinctive white marble-clad courthouse on a busy stretch of Madison Avenue - Gannett Fleming.

    Renovations to the courthouse will preserve its grandeur and strengthen its structural integrity.

  • Exterior view showing marble statues stop the buildings façade - Gannett Fleming.

    The structure’s extensive rooftop statuary makes it a distinctive presence on Madison Avenue.

  • Exterior of the marble-clad courthouse building’s western façade facing Madison Square Park - Gannett Fleming.

    The project helps protect the western façade along Madison Square Park from future damage.

  • View of the stunning interior courtroom showing extensive wall murals and gleaming woodwork - Gannett Fleming.

    The courthouse has earned landmark status for both its grand exterior and stunning interior.

Client
New York City Department of Design and Construction

Location
Manhattan, New York

Our Role
Architectural, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Design.

Data
Construction Cost
$11.3 million
Completed
2019
Type
Renovation, Rehabilitation
Duration
4 years, 5 months
Outcomes
  • Long-term protection against water infiltration for landmark courthouse
  • Marble-cladding repair restores appearance of beautiful historic structure
  • Repaired cornice allows removal of unsightly bridging above sidewalk.

One of the few buildings to achieve New York City landmark status for both its exterior and interior features, the New York State Appellate Division Courthouse on Madison Avenue in Manhattan recently got a facelift. The work was needed to maintain the structure’s distinctive marble-clad façades and rooftop statuary. Over the years, general weathering contributed to the deterioration of mortar joints, as well as water infiltration of the building envelope. The spalling of a marble cornice created a safety hazard, requiring the installation of sidewalk bridging on street-facing elevations to protect pedestrians from falling debris.

Gannett Fleming provided architectural and structural design for the renovation of the exterior envelope of the landmark building, as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) design to upgrade basement office spaces. Originally built in 1900, with an addition completed in 1954, the courthouse handles 3,000 legal appeals and 7,000 motions each year, making it one of the busiest appellate courts in the U.S. Its photogenic façade and interior make it a popular setting for films and television shows.

What We Did

The team conducted spray-bar and thermal imaging tests to pinpoint the source of water infiltration that had damaged marble cladding and masonry work on the building’s south façade. Repairs were made to restore the appearance and strengthen the integrity of the damaged material. Seismic bracing added to the rooftop statues and parapet reinforces their integrity and reduces the risk of collapse in an earthquake.

Full replacement of the building’s extensively damaged and leaking cast-iron vault light panels was designed to satisfy Landmarks Preservation Commission requirements and be entirely leak free. The structure’s new watertight roof membrane system features a layer of insulation and high reflectivity to enhance thermal efficiency. A new backup generator installed in an interior courtyard provides power in case of emergency. New MEP systems were designed for the renovation of basement spaces to accommodate new offices and a high-density filing system.

Key Features

  • Masonry, cladding, and statuary repairs restore exterior appearance and enhance structural integrity.
  • Roof replacement ensures protection against leakage and improves thermal efficiency.
  • Vault light panel replacement in accordance with historic preservation requirements prevents damage from water infiltration.
  • Office renovation provides additional workspace to help handle 10,000 legal motions and appeals each year.

Awards & Recognition

  • Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, 2020, The New York Landmarks Conservancy

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