Appellate Division Courthouse

preservation

Appellate Division Courthouse

The white marble courthouse that sits on the eastern edge of Madison Square Park is possibly the finest integration of architecture and the decorative arts achieved in America in the 19th Century.  Its architect James Brown Lord worked with major artists of the day, including Daniel Chester French and John La Farge to incorporate monumental sculptures, murals, and stained glass into the architecture, to represent aspects of the law.  It is one of New York’s few exterior and interior landmarks.

Completed in 1900 in the Neo-Italian Renaissance style made popular by the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, the building suffered from age and non-sympathetic additions after more than one hundred years of continuous use.

PBDW directed the full restoration of the Landmark courtroom, including the replacement of light fixtures with replicas of the originals, restoration of original Herter Brothers wood furniture, replication of the original center oculus of the Maitland Armstrong stained glass ceiling dome, and cleaning of marble walls.

Following the interior restoration, PBDW oversaw the restoration work on the courthouse’s white marble exterior and its impressive collection of sculpture. Twenty sculpture groupings along the building’s parapet, within its pediments, and flanking the front door represent aspects of the law and law makers. Badly deteriorated features of the sculptures were meticulously carved by master craftsmen in white marble to match the existing.  The sculptures and building facades were consolidated to conserve as much original stone as possible.  Where necessary, new stone Dutchmen were installed to recreate original detailing.

Client

New York City Department of Citywide Administration Services

Location

27 Madison Avenue, New York, NY

Date Completed

2004

Awards

Lucy G. Moses Award, New York Landmarks Conservancy, 2001 (Interior Renovation)

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