Constructed in 1906, P.S. 157, an elaborate Gothic Revival-style grade school, suffered from years of neglect. Water damage corroded the underlying structural steel and caused the ornamental terra cotta cladding to fail. Misguided alterations removed the elaborate parapet, including the 40 terra cotta “learned” owls that once stood sentry. The goal of the project was to FEATURED IN2002 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation the building safe and serviceable. Although P.S. 157 is not an officially designated historical landmark, the project team recognized the significance of the building and restored the façade.
More than 6,000 new terra cotta units were fabricated to match the original. The roof and flashings also were replaced to make the building envelope water-tight.