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Building Conservation Associates

One Madison Avenue

Location: New York, New York
Year Built: 1893-1909, 1953
Original Architect: Napoleon Le Brun & Sons, D. Everett Waid

One Madison Avenue, the MetLife Tower, located on Madison Square Park since 1890, is closely intertwined with the history of the city itself. The Tower (50 stories) was the tallest building in the world when it was erected in 1909 and is still a prominent fixture of the New York City skyline. BCA was the primary design consultant for the exterior restoration of the tower. Restoration work included removing decades of accumulated soiling from the exterior Tuckahoe marble and limestone masonry facades using a low-impact abrasive cleaning system; an extensive masonry repair and replacement program of some 7,000 discrete conditions; restoration of the four monumental clock faces, cast bronze numerals, and repair of the original copper-clad clock arms; and gilding the cupola with 23.75 karat Italian gold leaf. BCA designed new windows based on archival research to resemble the 1909 originals and shepherded the tower’s new lighting design through the New York City Landmarks Preservation process. 

Awards: Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, New York State Preservation Award (New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation), 2002 Award of Merit: Restoration: Exterior Restoration of the MetLife Tower (F.W. Dodge New York Construction News)