The Landmark Lectures 2019 Series by The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York will host a discussion entitled “The Preservation of Cast Iron Construction” with Christopher P. Pinto, Associate Principal, Thornton Tomasetti. Included in the discussion, the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park, a project that is nearing completion.
Christopher P. Pinto, who has considerable experience in structural analysis and design, with a specialization in investigative projects in restoration of historic structures, has worked on such notable projects as the cast iron dome of the U.S. Capital Building in Washington, D.C. and the Harlem Watchtower, images in this post.
The Harlem Fire Watchtower, built between 1855-1857, is the only survivor of the eleven cast-iron watchtowers placed throughout New York City in the 1850s. A grass-roots effort by residents and preservationists pulled together to restore the historic structure, which was deteriorating due to age, weather and neglect. The restoration is complete, and the Watchtower is in the process of being returned to the Acropolis in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem. The anticipated unveiling will be Fall, 2019.
According to the Victorian Society in America, New York City has the world’s largest collection of buildings with cast-iron fronts ~ and many have been designated. Here, the Society states, “New York City has the world’s largest collection of buildings with cast-iron fronts. Many of these buildings have already been designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, either as individual landmarks or within historic districts.”
“Some, such as the masterful Haughwout Building on the northeast corner of Broadway and Broome Street, and Cary Building, with facades on Chambers and Reade Streets at Church Street, are individual landmarks, while many others are located within the boundaries of historic districts.”
“The SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, designated in 1973, includes dozens of cast-iron facades and was an early recognition of the importance of cast iron.”
“Other cast-iron fronts are located within the various Tribeca historic districts (notably in the Tribeca West Historic District, in the NoHo Historic District, in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District, and in other local districts.”
No where is the preservation of cast iron construction more visible in NYC than in the SoHo Cash Iron Historic District. In an ode to this designation, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation put it this way, “They have given it a new life, making feasible the preservation of an irreplaceable part of our cultural heritage.”
The Preservation of Cast Iron Construction, by The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen will take place on Tuesday, June 18th from 6:30 to 8pm located at The General Society Library, 20 West 44th Street, NYC. Tickets available online from $-$15. Reception to follow.
This is the last of the Lecture Series, however you can view what you missed at the complete Landmark Series schedule, here.
This program is supported in part by public funds from the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. The General Society Landmark Lectures are presented in partnership with the New York Landmarks Conservancy