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90 West Street, New York, NY 10006

In its more than 100 years at 90 West Street, the Gothic landmark building designed by Cass Gilbert saw its share of history, including the construction and destruction of the nearby World Trade Center. The tragic World Trade Center collapse on Sept. 11, 2001 showered the 24-story building with falling and flaming debris, causing severe structural damage and a major fire that engulfed the entire building.

The Owner/Developer retained Project Engineer Façade Maintenance Design (FacadeMD) and Architect H. Thomas O’Hara-Architect PLLC, who recognized the importance of securing a master team of specialists and subcontractors to restoring glory to 90 West Street’s terra cotta façade, granite base and mansard roof. They entrusted the delicate exterior work to the craftsmen of Seaboard, who coordinated the comprehensive façade cleaning and renovation, as well as repairs to the roof and four-story granite base. The Seaboard team worked closely with the project engineer and architect to ensure all exterior work complied with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

With a two-year project timeline – and a lack of specifications – teamwork was essential in order to complete the job on time and on budget. Seaboard’s crew of as many as 50 people meshed seamlessly into the 100-person workforce, building a common spirit of trust, cooperation and confidence to complete this fast-track challenge. The location served as a daily reminder of the 9/11 tragedy, whose emotional impact motivated everyone on the site.

The 90 West Street restoration was recognized with numerous awards, including New York Construction Magazine’s “Top 20 Projects, 2004-2005” and “Best of 2005: Project of the Year Award for Best Adaptive Reuse”; the Preservation League of New York State Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation; and the National Trust for Historic Preservation 2006 Honor Award.

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90 West Street after the Sept. 11 attacks


Upper partially restored façade and new copper mansard roof.

Start Date: August 2002

Project Finished: Early Spring 2005

Project Highlights:

  • Repaired and replaced 8,000 terra cotta stones, decorative gargoyles and stone figures in the façade

  • Replaced the entire north elevation of the granite building base with a granite panel system, using ornate hand-cut stone carved in Italy and Canada

  • Replaced the entire copper mansard roof and recreated the original roof balustrade profile in fiberglass


Project Team:

Engineer: Facade Maintenance Design (FacadeMD)
Architect: H. Thomas O’Hara- Architect PLLC
Restoration Contractor: Seaboard Weatherproofing & Restoration Company

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