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Construction & Design

AIA recognizes historic preservation of school

IBI Group ▪ Gruzen Samton Architects received a 2014 AIA New York State Award of Merit for Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in the Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation category.

The design awards reception and presentation took place last month at the Hilton of Saratoga Springs, NY in conjunction with the AIA New York State Conference.

One of the oldest institutions of its kind in America, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School has committed to modernizing and connecting its facilities.

The Columbia school townhouses are now connected
The Columbia school townhouses are now connected

The challenge was to upgrade and connect their row of seven historic brownstone townhouses for the Lower School.

In response, IBI Group ▪ Gruzen Samton has replaced the existing fire escapes at the rear of the brownstones with new open corridors and fire stairs thereby unifying the seven brownstones into one school accessible at all levels, and has also added an elevator to provide handicapped access to all floors.

An additional classroom floor in a nook on the roof and a new 2,000 s/f gymnasium with rooftop play area were provided in the common rear yard.

The NYC Landmarks-approved design is an innovative contribution to the school’s ongoing effort to provide state-of-the-art facilities in the Upper West Side Historic District.

IBI Group continues to provide services at several other areas of their campus on the Westside, including the addition of a mezzanine to the Upper School Library, a two-story addition to the Middle School and a complete renovation, including a new facade, of 5 West 93rd Street, another lower school building.

As a result there is now a complete mid block connection, creating a campus between 92nd and 94th street in Manhattan.

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