The 70,000 sq. ft. landmark -- situated at 20 West 44th Street in Mid-town Manhattan, housing one of the oldest and the only continuously operated mechanics institute in the United States -- must accommodate modern functions that will improve public access to resources and services that empower constituencies. The goal is to preserve the historic characteristics of the building while complying with current building codes, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and reconciling energy codes with preservation requirements.Planning Project Activities and DeliverablePreparation of the document includes archival research through the organization?s own records, the collections held by the New York Historical Society, and the New York Public Library. Research will be conducted into the building?s original construction by Lamb and Rich for the Berkeley School, and the major alterations carried out, 1903-1905, by Ralph Samuel Townsend, and examination of The General Society?s own archives. A comprehensive analysis of the existing conditions of the building and its mechanical systems will parallel the research efforts. Upon completion of these activities, the data will be compiled into a formal document ? a Historical Structure Report, and will include narrative text as well as illustrations. Prioritized and phased recommendations for the continued use and stewardship of the building will be included, and will be developed in conjunction with The General Society?s long-range plans for future program use and increase in public activities.
Historic Property Acquisition, Development and Planning
The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York