69th Regiment Armory Northeast Facade

69th Regiment Armory

Location New York, NY

Category Government

Historic Facade Rehabilitation and Window Replacement

Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award

The armory that houses the United States 69th Infantry Regiment was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by Hunt & Hunt and completed in 1906. Designated as both a New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, the 69th Regiment Armory is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. A three-story brick structure with limestone trim, fenestrated with old-growth hardwood windows and crowned by a steep mansard roof, the armory occupies nearly an entire city block. Now widely regarded as representative of the early movement toward a 20th-century aesthetic, the 69th Regiment Armory was the first of its kind to reject medieval fortress design conventions and opt instead for a new approach to military architecture.

A limestone spall that fell twelve feet to the ground raised concerns about the stability of the century-old facade. To identify potentially hazardous conditions and establish a scope of repairs, the New York Office of General Services (OGS) and the Department of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA) retained Hoffmann Architects + Engineers to undertake a facade investigation.

Field observation revealed spalled and cracked brick, limestone, granite, and concrete, attributable to lack of accommodation for movement, as well as to weathering and moisture infiltration. At building corners, lack of provision for expansion coupled with steel column corrosion led to continuous vertical cracking.  The aging hardwood windows exhibited deterioration of frame and sash, water and air infiltration, damaged and missing hardware, and broken glazing.

To address deficiencies identified in the investigation, OGS and DMNA further retained Hoffmann to design and administer an ambitious rehabilitation program. The project included repair of cracked and spalled brick, reconstruction of masonry corners, repointing, limestone and granite repair, copper cornice and fascia restoration, closing of open gun turrets, restoration of ornamental metal, and facade cleaning.

69th Regiment Armory Fifth Story Double Hung Windows Exterior Original
69th Regiment Armory Fifth Story Double Hung Windows Exterior Replacement

Exterior view of original fifth story round-arched window (left) and replacement window (right)

Hoffmann also recommended that the facade restoration project include full replacement of the existing windows, as they displayed significant deterioration and were performing poorly. To closely match replacement windows to the originals, Hoffmann conducted a comprehensive window survey to verify each window’s size, profile, and surrounding conditions. The new windows needed to satisfy not only the requirements of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), but also the Department of Defense’s anti-terrorism building standards and the New York State Energy Conservation Code.

Our design professionals developed a window replacement and building enclosure restoration program that successfully married preservation of historic character with the high performance demands of an active military facility in a dense urban setting. Sensitivity to the historic fabric of the building envelope, combined with durable solutions to deterioration conditions, were prime considerations in developing the project approach to preserve this landmark of Beaux-Arts military architecture.

69th Regiment Armory Second Story Tripartite Windows Exterior Original
69th Regiment Armory Second Story Tripartite Windows Exterior Replacement

Exterior view of original windows (left) and replacement window (right)

69th Regiment Armory Facade Close-up

New York Landmarks Conservancy, Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award

69th Regiment Armory

The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s highest honor for historic preservation, the Lucy G. Moses Award is considered the “Oscars of preservation” for New York City buildings.