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Building Conservation Associates

Cathedral St. John The Divine

Location: New York, New York
Year Built: 1892
Original Architect: Heins & LaFarge, Ralph Adams Cram (1911)

Located in Morningside Heights, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is one of the largest in the world. Dating from 1892, it evolved from the designs of Heins and LaFarge who were succeeded by Ralph Adams Cram. The Cathedral has never been completed. In 2017, the Cathedral and its Close were declared a New York City landmark.

BCA has been assisting the Cathedral since 1995 with special projects. We have performed comprehensive interior and exterior surveys, materials analyses, and cleaning tests, and have prepared construction documents and monitored the construction phase for the restoration of interior and exterior masonry at the Cathedral as well as other buildings on the Close, including the Cathedral School, Diocesan House, and Town Building.

After a devastating fire in 2001, BCA designed and oversaw the cleaning and restoration of all the Cathedral’s interior spaces. Later, BCA completed a study of the massive Guastavino dome at the Cathedral Crossing to understand its conditions and develop prioritization of needs. To further assist the Cathedral with allocating funds for restoration, we have implemented a system of documenting and prioritizing interior masonry conditions on AutoCad drawings, which are linked to a database. BCA has also been engaged in a study of and development of treatments for the exterior and interior conditions at other buildings on the Cathedral Close.

Awards: Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, Excellence in Design Award (New York City Public Design Commission)