Facade Work Completed on Historic NYC Building

54 Bond Street is a 1870s, corner cast-iron building in the French Second Empire style, and is located in the Bowery neighborhood.

The 54 Bond Street façade preservation and restoration project in Manhattan has received a 2018 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy. 54 Bond Street is a 1870s, corner cast-iron building in the French Second Empire style, and is located in the Bowery neighborhood.

The project team on the exterior restoration included architect CTA Architects PC; owner’s representative D+DS Architecture Office; general contractor Traditional Waterproofing and Restoration; Gent, Belgium-based cast-iron fabricator Van Cronenburg Architectural Hardware; and structural engineer GACE Consulting Engineers. Andrews Building Corp. manages the building.

54 Bond is unusual in that it is on a corner, and so has more cast iron than on most similar buildings, which made for a more extensive project. All the cast-iron units to be replaced were numbered and shipped to the fabricator’s facility in Belgium, allowing the fabricator to create shop drawings, molds, and then create the replicas.

The cast-iron pieces were also zinc-metalized to provide additional rust protection and then painted with three coats of epoxy paint. Pieces that were in good condition, on the other hand, were stripped of paint and rust and were then recoated in a phased process.

After the façade work was completed, the second phase began with the replication of the three original cast-iron entrance stairways leading to the ground floor, which is elevated above the street level. At some point over time, the stairways had been replaced. CTA designed new stairs to match the originals the team had found in old photographs and from remnants on site.

The Long and Winding History of 54 Bond Street

The structure has had many uses over the years. Early on, it was the Bond Street Savings Bank. As the Bowery declined, the structure became home to the German Exchange Bank, then a loft and storage space, and eventually the Bouwerie Lane Theater in 1963.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the building an individual landmark in 1967, and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

With the gentrification of the Bowery, 54 Bond was converted into a condominium building with three high-end residential lofts and two commercial spaces on the first two floors. In 2011, the owner, 54 Bond Street Condominium, contracted CTA to repair the façade, as it had become somewhat dilapidated.