Behind the Scenes: The Art of Preserving New York’s Historic Architecture

New York is a city full of aging buildings, manufactured in brick, terra cotta, cast iron and other materials vulnerable to time, erosion and gravity. Therefore, it represents a significant market for architects working in preserving, restoring and evaluating the resilience of historic architecture. “Because of the density and because of the amount of people that live here, the risk [of buildings causing damage due to failure] is higher than it may be in other cities,” explains Scott Henson, principal of Scott Henson Architect, a preservation architecture firm in New York City. According to Scott, the New York Landmarks Conservancy is one of the main advocates for the preservation of architecture in the city and guides a lot of the conversation that happens around the subject through events and public programs. There are many more smaller organizations that work at a local level, such as the Historic Districts Council, the Greenwich Village Historic Preservation Society, Landmark West on the Upper West Side, the Friends of the Upper East Side and the Victorian Society, to name a few. On a sunny fall morning, I visited the office of Scott Henson Architect to discover the role a preservation architect plays in an ...
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