The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York is headquartered at 20 West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The General Society acquired the four-story building—built in 1890 and designed by Lamb & Rich—in 1899 to host their free courses in building and craftsmanship trades. In 1903, through a generous donation from General Society member Andrew Carnegie, architect Ralph S. Townsend expanded the building with an additional two floors and two flanking rear wings and blended the original Italian Renaissance Revival style with Beaux-Arts Classicism. The building is listed in both the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places and has been designated as an individual New York City Landmark.
Easton Architects led a team of consultants to prepare a Historic Structure Report that analyzed all components of the building envelope, interior finishes and character defining spaces. The comprehensive report recommended appropriate restoration, rehabilitation and preservation treatments to ensure the integrity of the building’s exterior and interior historic fabric while allowing for continued use. The Historic Structure Report included assessments of building systems including structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and circulation. We also coordinated the conservation materials testing and hazardous materials testing consultants. To inform our recommendations, we provided a building code analysis and accessibility analysis and prepared a construction phasing strategy and cost estimates.
Easton Architects has also surveyed the building’s skylights and prepared design documents for a restoration of the central library skylight. A roof replacement project, also designed and overseen by Easton Architects, is currently underway.