Elevation Awards Spotlight: NY Free Library


With the extended deadline just announced for the third annual Elevation Awards, we will be counting down to the deadline (Oct. 9) with featured selections of this year’s nominees, giving readers a glimpse of the competition. Below is a selected nominee in the “Interiors, Commercial + Public Buildings” category.

Project: Enoch Pratt Free Library

The Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch, in Brooklyn, New York, recently underwent a historic restoration to preserve its example of craftsmanship. The structure features 20th century American Renaissance with its Neoclassical massing merged with French Art Deco-influenced metalwork.

EverGreene Architectural Arts was tapped as the general contractor; its scope of work included historic finishes investigations and decorative paint and plaster restoration. Subcontractors were engaged for metal and wood refinishing and exterior ornamental ironwork.

In the Central Hall, much of the original decorative paint was presenting and intact before the project began. The scope of EverGreene’s work included surface cleaning, paint consolidation, inpainting paint loss, gilding, plaster repairs and installation of new star silent acoustical plaster on upper walls.

In one room, using historic images of the room as a map, EverGreene completed exposure windows and paint analysis in areas with underlying historic decorative paint. While much of the ceiling had been lost due to post-historic lighting perforation, much of the original decorative paint was existing around the perimeter. The successful exposure windows provided an informed understanding of the original design, as well as a cohesive color palette.

In the North and South Reading Rooms, combining in-situ investigations with archival research, EverGreene conservators documented colors and composition of stenciling as well as freehand decorative and figurative work on plaster walls and ceilings, even as alterations reduced the contextual evidence in historic spaces.

Each new discovery revealed by the investigations added perspective to the design process, which was driven by a desire to honor the historic decoration while accommodating present-day aesthetic tastes. Based on the results, artists recreated a selection of stencils that once adorned each of the ceiling beams in the space. The workers, who used Sherwin-Williams paints, mixed and matched with varying color palettes to create a unique pattern on every beam in the room.


Do you have a project you want recognized? Click here for more information on the Elevation Awards.


Tagged categories: Awards and honors; D+D Elevation Awards; Decorative Finishes; Interior coatings; Interior Wall Coatings; NA; North America; Sherwin-Williams

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.