In the 1890s, the C.B.J. Snyder-designed Bayard Taylor School (PS 158) opened on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has since welcomed and educated generations of school children. But its hundred-plus years of service led to serious deterioration of the building's façade and interior finishes. Nelligan White’s design rehabilitated PS 158 to its former glory with a comprehensive set of functional and aesthetic restorations.
In the years since PS 158 was built, it had seen only patchwork repairs. Throughout the building, observations demonstrated that the source of water penetration and building-wide damage to the interior finishes was due to a combination of modern masonry repair-induced failures and deterioration of the original backup masonry and mortar. Worse, a fateful decision to demolish the façade’s monumental projecting cornice had the unintended consequence of exposing building infrastructure to the elements and accelerating masonry deterioration. All of this damage was carefully observed, recorded, and mapped at the exterior and interior at the school, leading to the recommendation of the full replacement of masonry and stabilization/repair of all backup masonry.
As a public building eligible under preservation requirements of the State Historical Preservation Office, great pains were taken to replicate the original material and restore the grandeur of the Beaux Arts-style façade. All face brick was removed and replaced with new brick that replicated the original look of the brick from the 1890s. Behind this new brick, a vapor barrier was applied and a narrow-cavity drainage plane was installed to create a protective barrier. These new methods and materials allowed us to greatly surpass the building’s original envelope protection. A replica of the original cornice was installed using modern glass fiber reinforced concrete. Our team also replaced the roof and cleaned the building’s original stonework. This project resulted in the restoration of a beautiful, Beaux-Arts style school that will be resilient for generations to come.
This project was substantially completed in September 2017.