Symposium on the Restoration of Cast and Wrought Iron
Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, 2011
Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Columbia University
New York, New York
Wrought and cast iron have long been among the most versatile building materials available to designers, craftsmen, and builders. Able to provide structural utility and decorative embellishment, iron can mimic delicate filigree or the solidity of a stone column. In the United States, especially during the late nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries, hand-crafted wrought-iron and mass-produced cast-iron features were common in municipal buildings, churches, warehouses, factories, and commercial storefronts. Though extremely durable, cast and wrought iron, like all historic materials, require sensitive maintenance, repair, rehabilitation and, on occasion, replacement.
This symposium gave participants an understanding of the properties of historic cast and wrought iron and appropriate treatments for these materials in architectural applications. New York City, home to many surviving examples of cast- and wrought-iron architecture and the country's largest cast-iron historic district, was an ideal venue for this symposium. Symposium sessions were conducted at Avery Hall on the campus of Columbia University.
Leading conservators, preservationists, and fabricators presented sessions on topics including the basics of repair of historic cast and wrought iron; modes of failure; repair versus replacement decisions; survey and documentation methods; casting and coating; cleaning and abatement; and labor and logistics issues encountered in the field. The symposium concluded with an evening reception at Low Memorial Library. A guided walking tour of the SOHO-Cast Iron Historic District, was offered the following day.
Participants were eligible for 8 Learning Units (HSW) meeting the requirements of the AIA Continuing Education System.
Platinum Level: Historic Preservation Education Foundation (HPEF) American Institute of Architects (AIA) Historic Resources Committee Association for Preservation Technology International, Northeast Chapter (APTNE) Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Historic Preservation
Gold level: Allen Architectural Metals, Talladega, Alabama Historical Arts & Casting, Inc., West Jordan, Utah Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, New York City McLean Metalworks, Galveston, Texas OLBN, Inc., Rockville, Maryland Robinson Iron Corporation, Alexander City, Alabama Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Silver level: Old Structures Engineering, P.C., New York City
Welcome – Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation Symposium Planning Committee
The Development ofCast Iron and Wrought Iron Architecture Carol Gayle, Associate Professor of History, Lake Forest College
Framing the Issue: Where We Are and Where We Are GoingRichard Pieper, Director of Preservation, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University
Assessment, Repair, and Strengthening of Structural Cast and Wrought IronConrad Paulson, SE, PE, Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Repair versus Replacement: A Craftsman’s PerspectiveDoug McLean, McLean Metalworks, Galveston, Texas
Panel Discussion: Survey and Documentation
Documentation from the Architect’s Perspective, Part 1: The Donald Judd House (101 Spring Street)Robert Bates, AIA, Principal, Walter Melvin Architects
Documentation from the Architect’s Perspective, Part 2: The Battery Maritime BuildingMichael Devonshire, Partner, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates
Documentation from the Structural Engineer’s PerspectiveEdmund P. Meade, PE, Principal, Robert Silman Associates
Documentation from the Fabricator’s PerspectiveRichard Baird, President, Historical Arts & Casting, West Jordan, Utah
Surface Preparation and CoatingsPhil Gonnella, Righter Group, Inc., Wilmington, Massachusetts
The Patternmaker's Art: Innovation within a Timeless TraditionJ. Scott Howell, Vice President and General Manager, Robinson Iron, Alexander City, Alabama
Working in the Field: Planning and Logistics, Labor Issues, Materials Issues
Labor Relations and Field Installations John Allen, President/Owner, Allen Architectural Metals, Inc., New York, New York, and Talladega, Alabama
Site Logistics for Cast Iron Restoration - Safety, Efficiency and IntegritySteve Brown, Senior Project Manager, Historical Arts & Casting, West Jordan, Utah
Minimizing Murphy's Law J. Scott Howell, Vice President and General Manager, Robinson Iron, Alexander City, Alabama
Questions and DiscussionModerator: Richard Pieper, Director of Preservation, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University
Summary and ClosingSymposium Planning Committee
Evening Reception at Low Library Rotunda, Columbia University Margot Gayle and the Preservation of New York’s Cast Iron Architecture Remarks by John G. Waite, FAIA, John G. Waite Associates, Architects, PLLC, and Carol Gayle, Associate Professor of History, Lake Forest College
Walking Tour of Cast Iron Architecture in the SOHO-Cast Iron Historic District Stephen Gottlieb, Tour Coordinator