AIA Rehabilitating New Yorks Historic Schools

New York City’s public school system includes over 1,600 properties that house public schools, charter schools, and support facilities. These buildings are the heritage of perhaps the greatest public school system in history, and certainly one of the largest portfolios of historic buildings in the country. Over half of these buildings are old enough to be considered eligible for listing as historic properties under New York State’s Historic Preservation Laws. Independently, many of them are NYC Landmarks or are located in Landmark Districts.

As part of its duties as steward for these buildings, the NYC School Construction Authority has commissioned Nelligan White Architects to prepare a history and guide to rehabilitation of its public schools. The guide will provide readers with an overview of the history of these buildings and practical information for professionals and builders involved in their preservation and rehabilitation.

Presentation participants learned about the history of New York’s Public Schools and gained an overview of construction of public schools and the portfolio of historic schools in the NYC School System. This overview included brief descriptions of the architectural styles, plan typologies and construction techniques employed in these schools. Participants also learned about the resources included in the Guide including the historic asset database, technical references and case studies, as well as the original source material used in preparing the Guide.Techniques that are frequently employed in these rehabilitations, particularly in relationship to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties were also covered. Finally, through a detailed presentation in three of the 20 case studies included in the Guide, (presented by Superstructures, RKTB and NW) participants learned in detail how these strategies play out over a range of project scopes including the “lessons learned” during the construction of each project.

Moderator: Bruce Nelligan, AIA, Principal, Nelligan White Architects

Speakers: Albert Aronov, AIA, Principal, RKTB
Matthew Cronin, Firm Associate and Studio Director, Superstructures Engineers and Architects
Emily Wetherbee, Assoc. AIA, Studio Leader and Project Manager, Nelligan White Architects

Organized by: AIANY Historic Buildings Committee