True Green Cities/Celebrating Eight Years – Rejuvenation

Celebrating Eight Years – Rejuvenation

The restored façade of Northland Central at 683 Northland Avenue, Buffalo, NY.
The restored façade of Northland Central at 683 Northland Avenue, Buffalo, NY.

It’s been eight years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected. Many people are finding new ways to integrate historic preservation and green building practices, which makes my new venture a delightful and intellectually inspiring one. While I have typically each year posted one blog every day of my anniversary week, since my website is in the midst of reconstruction (actually building a new one), this will be the only blog this year until my new website launches this summer.

Restoring the skylight at the Old Post Office in Downtown Buffalo, now the SUNY Erie Campus.

Other highlights of the year include the 50th Anniversary APT Conference in Buffalo Niagara, a new project restoring the skylight at the Old Post Office (now the downtown Buffalo SUNY Erie Campus), preparing a Certified Historic District nomination for the word famous Larkin Factory in Buffalo, teaching a class on Adaptation (Adaptive Reuse) at Columbia, and continuing restoration projects at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens and historic churches in Buffalo and Jamestown, NY. 

The highlight of the past year, indeed one of the highlights of my career, has been the completion of Phase 1 of the transformation of the former Niagara Machine & Tool Works Factory into the Northland Workforce Training Center.  For more details on the history of the site and the scope of work please see my blog from last year.  Phase 2 is under construction, with the entire 240,000 square feet scheduled for completion in September.  This project is rejuvenating an underserved neighborhood by remaking long-vacant factories with work force training, light manufacturing spaces for technology-based innovation companies and a business incubator.  Public art, a new park and rebuilt sustainable infrastructure complete this reactivated community on Buffalo’s East Side. 

My three federal trademarks – the company logo, the tagline (Greening What’s Already Here) and the name of our sustainability management plan (The Greening Plan) were renewed by the Patent & Trademark Office for three more years!  Building a new website is a project on its own, so I’m looking forward to its launch this summer and the ability to publish more essays.  Enjoy your spring and summer!

True Green Cities/Celebrating Seven Years – From Alaska to Louisiana, Reflecting on a Very Busy Time

Celebrating Seven Years – From Alaska to Louisiana, Reflecting on a Very Busy Time

 

Evaluating the conditions of the Houde Factory in the Northland Redevelopment Corridor on Buffalo’s East Side. Photo courtesy of Joe Cascio.

It’s been seven years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected. Many people are finding new ways to integrate historic preservation and green building practices, which makes my new venture a delightful and intellectually inspiring one. This is blog five of my anniversary week.

Reflections

There are pros and cons about being the busiest you have ever been. Pro: you have amazing projects around the country. Con: you have no time to manage administrative items like finishing the revisions of your website. With completing my new website by September as a major goal, I thought I might just reflect on what has made me so busy over the past seven years. Many of these projects have been discussed separately but it’s sort of nice to just see them all listed. Thank you to all my clients, colleagues, consultants and students since 2011. When I look at this list, I don’t feel so badly that my website isn’t finished yet! And I didn’t even include lectures, seminars or publications. It’s been a good seven years.

Projects:

A celebratory light show at the Richardson Olmsted Campus.

Richardson Olmsted Campus
A National Historic Landmark
Buffalo, NY
Project Manager for the National Preservation Conference events in 2011.

State Department Headquarters
Washington, DC
Section 106 review for roof-top green renovations.

Haas-Lielenthal House
San Francisco, CA
Preparation of Sustainability Management Plan for historic house museum.

Lee H. Nelson Hall
Natchitoches, LA
Preparation of Sustainability Management Plan for historic college gym, now the headquarters of NCPTT.

Jesse Lee Home
Seward, AK
Preparation of Sustainability Management Plan for historic orphanage.

Canine Splash Dog Swim Center
Buffalo, NY
Adviser for sustainable materials for a canine swim center in an old warehouse.

The historic Buffalo Homeopathic Hospital, one of the last remaining intact homeopathic hospitals in the country.

Buffalo Homeopathic Hospital
Buffalo, NY
Historic preservation consulting for 1912 homeopathic hospital.

Northland Corridor Redevelopment
Buffalo, NY
Preservation architect for transformation of three historic factories on Buffalo’s East Side.

Cantalician Center/St. Agnes Training School
Buffalo, NY
National Register determination for historic school and convent dating from 1907.

Rough Point
Newport, RI
Preservation Evaluation of existing conditions of historic gilded mansion on Newport’s storied Cliff Walk.

Trinity Episcopal Church
Buffalo, NY
Preservation Manager for historic church’s projects including conservation of world famous stained glass windows designed by LaFarge and Tiffany.

Trinity Church in downtown Buffalo.

Lutheran Church of Our Savior
Buffalo, NY
Slate Roof restoration of church in the Hamlin Park Historic District.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Jamestown, NY

Exterior restoration of Medina sandstone church.

Professional Volunteer Efforts

Richardson Center Corporation, Buffalo, NY – Board Member for management and rehabilitation of National Historic Landmark Richardson Olmsted Campus.

The Haas-Lilienthal House in San Francisco, one of the only “Painted Ladies” open to the public as a historic house museum.

Buffalo Architecture Center, Buffalo, NY – President and Board Member for creation of new cultural institution.

APT Buffalo Niagara 2018 – Chair of APT International’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Buffalo Niagara in September 2018.

Columbia University GSAPP Alumni Board, New York, NY – Board Member on alumni board focusing on developing alumni networking and engagement events.

Paul Rudolph’s Shoreline – Advocacy efforts to save iconic Brutalist housing complex in downtown Buffalo.

Academic Appointments

University at Buffalo, School of Architecture & Planning, Buffalo, NY – Development of graduate historic preservation curriculum and several graduate seminars.

Rough Point, a gilded mansion on Newport’s Cliff Walk.

FIT Sustainable Interior Environments graduate program, New York, NY – One of the founding professors of a graduate sustainability program at FIT in NYC and Chair and Assistant Professor of the program for two years.

(I apologize for the wonky formatting; the website is under renovation.) And if you’d like to “subscribe” or follow my blog, True Green Cities, please sign up through the “Subscribe” button at the bottom left of this page. You’ll receive a daily recap when new blogs are posted. Or Sign up for the Feed, also at the bottom left of this page.

True Green Cities/Celebrating Seven Years – Preserving Churches of Western New York

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown, built in 1894.

It’s been seven years since I launched Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC and while many things have changed, my goal to work on “greening what’s already here” continues to be met, often in places I never expected. Many people are finding new ways to integrate historic preservation and green building practices, which makes my new venture a delightful and intellectually inspiring one. This is blog four of my anniversary week.

Preserving Churches of Western New York
For many years I have worked with historic churches around New York State, helping to evaluate their conditions and developing preservation plans. Many of these projects have been funded by the New York Landmarks Conservancy Sacred Sites program. Currently we are working on three churches in Western New York – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Buffalo and Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Hamlin Park, Buffalo. We will share some of St. Luke’s story in this blog.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Jamestown, NY, Built 1894

 

The interior of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, built in 1894, is a substantial structure of rock-faced Medina sandstone that blends Late Gothic Revival and Romanesque Revival elements. Designed by Boston architect W.P. Wentworth, it has a traditional cruciform plan with a square bell tower attached to the northeast corner of the church. The tower features a clock on each face side and rounded corners topped with conical pinnacles. St. Luke’s is enhanced by an intact interior, stained glass windows, an arcaded façade (with a porch or narthex) and stone tracery in the west facing Rose Window. Both the tower and the church have engaged corner buttresses and Gothic arches at the first and second floor levels. The belfry has a pointed arch opening on each elevation with louvers and stone tracery. A shed-roofed porch projects from the façade (west elevation) and has an arcade of half columns that support pointed arches. Above the porch is a large rose window with tracery. A front-gabled vestry wing is located north of the church, housing a small chapel on the first floor. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is a contributing component of the Jamestown Downtown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Existing Conditions
As a 125-year old building, the Church is starting to exhibit some structural and material deficits. However, Medina sandstone is an incredibly durable material and this is readily seen in the conditions we have identified.

The Chapel of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

An Existing Conditions Evaluation of the Church’s exterior was conducted by a team of historic preservation professionals: Barbara A. Campagna/Architecture + Planning, PLLC from Buffalo, Siracuse Engineers, PC (structural) from Buffalo and Jablonski Building Conservation (Architectural Conservators) from New York City. BAC and Siracuse were on site in June, July and September of 2017. Samples of sandstone, brick and mortar were taken in September of 2017 and sent to JBC for analysis. The full conservation analysis was received in January 2018. The full Preservation Plan with a detailed cost estimate is scheduled for completion in May.
The existing conditions evaluation of the Church and Chapel found that both were in general, in very good structural condition. The existing conditions evaluation indicates however five primary concerns of exterior/structural concern: the Bell Tower, the Front Porch/Narthex, the Front Stair, the Chapel Entrance and the Exterior Elevations (repointing). The project is a fairly technical exterior preservation project. Some notes on the Bell Tower are provided as a sample of the work we are conducting.

Bell Tower

While found to be in generally good structural condition, many open and cracked mortar joints were observed in the exterior stone and interior brick wall surfaces. In some instances, vertical cracks extended from the mortar joints through the brick or stone units. This indicates that forces are acting to push the walls outward. One likely cause of this outward-acting force is the deterioration of the steel corner braces below the floor supporting the church bells. These steel braces were found to be heavily corroded, with significant delamination at the ends embedded in the exterior walls. The steel beams supporting an intermediate floor were found to be in better condition, but still showing signs of delamination at the embedded supports. This deterioration of the steel members is likely due to moisture penetration into the space saturating the brick adjacent to the steel members. Note that once cracks form in the exterior stone walls, the cracks will expand through freeze-thaw action during the winter months and will allow more moisture to penetrate the walls. No unsafe conditions were observed.

Barbara Campagna taking effloresence samples off the brick in the Bell Tower.

The interior surfaces of the Tower bricks are coated in a thick coating of efflorescence. A sample of efflorescence from the interior of the tower was tested to identify the salts present.
One mortar sample and one brick from the interior of the tower were analyzed petrographically
to help determine the source of the efflorescence occurring in the tower with the goal of
removing it and preventing its recurrence.

The brick mortar in the tower is natural cement, lime, and sand mix. The binder is 1 part natural
cement to 6.5 to 9.5 parts lime. Both the lime and the natural cement are dolomitic. The binder
to aggregate ratio is 1:3.

The brick in the tower is sound. It does not appear to be the cause of the efflorescence, nor does
it appear to be affected by the efflorescence. The cracked and open mortar joints are encouraging water infiltration into the interior and contributing to the steel corrosion of the steel braces.

The efflorescence is epsomite (magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, or MgSO4(H2O)7). The source
of the magnesium is from the dolomitic lime and natural cement. The source of the sulfate is
most likely pollution.

Bell Tower Restoration

The structure holding the carillon in the Bell Tower.

Replacement of the steel corner braces and rehabilitation of the embedded ends of the floor support beams is recommended to provide dimensional stability to the tower. Additionally, removing the efflorescence and repointing the mortar joints with the original mix is indicated above, both exterior and interior, is recommended to minimize moisture intrusion. The recommended repairs are important from a maintenance standpoint and will help preserve the structural integrity of the Bell Tower.

(I apologize for the wonky formatting; the website is under renovation.) And if you’d like to “subscribe” or follow my blog, True Green Cities, please sign up through the “Subscribe” button at the bottom left of this page. You’ll receive a daily recap when new blogs are posted. Or Sign up for the Feed, also at the bottom left of this page.

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