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Construction & Design

Starrett-Lehigh renovation earns preservation award

One of New York City’s largest historic commercial properties, the 2.3 million square foot Starrett-Lehigh Building owned by RXR Realty, has received the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from The New York Landmarks Conservancy, the highest honor for excellence in preservation.

The 29th Moses Awards, which recognize individuals, organizations, and building owners for their extraordinary contributions to New York City, will take place on April 23 at The Plaza.

The Starrett-Lehigh Building, which opened in 1931, has recently undergone a massive renovation program to replace its roughly 5,000 windows, which laid side by side would stretch for approximately eight miles.

In 2011, Boddewyn Gaynor Architects, was tapped as the architectural lead to define the parameters of the project; review the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission guidelines for replacement windows; evaluate manufacturers, materials and performance requirements for these historic windows; and survey the existing conditions.

The firm assisted with the manufacturer selection process based on matching the distinctive operable vent design of the original steel windows to ensure that all work complied with the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s guidelines.

Over a multi-year period, the original steel-framed continuous ‘ribbon style’ windows were replaced by over 20 types of energy-efficient aluminum-framed units in varying sizes, at the rate of about 12 windows per day. The windows were replaced in the evening to ensure that they were installed safely and properly and to limit disruption to existing tenants.

The project team included RXR’s Design & Construction Department; Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, and Graham Architectural Products, the window manufacturer.

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