Richardson Center Corporation releases stabilization and Historic Structures Report preliminary findings
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
The Richardson Center Corporation is proceeding with plans for reuse of the Richardson Olmsted Complex as a mixed use multi-purpose civic campus of public and private activities. The RCC continues to build on the momentum started with the Urban Land Institute Advisory Panel’s encouraging recommendations in May, 2007. Underway are additional stabilization measures and an Historic Structures Report. Future plans include an Architecture and Visitors Center and a master planning process.
"We're moving forward on protecting the Richardson Olmsted complex", said Eva Hassett, Richardson Center Corporation Board Member, "the buildings are being stabilized against further deterioration and vandalism, a short term accomplishment on a long term project".
Using $2 million in funds secured by the Richardson Center Corporation, stabilization work resumed this fall. Additional measures, continuing the work in 2004 and 2005, are taking place to prevent further deterioration and vandalism. The Dormitory Authority of the State of NY is completing the work, with guidance from architects Goody Clancy and engineers Simpson Gumpertz and Heger. In order to stabilize against further deterioration from water damage, sealing and temporary protection is taking place on the roofs of Building 45, 43, 39 and 10. Structural shoring of the brick connector links will be undertaken and construction design plans are in process. A plan for electrical power and security measures is also being designed to install a more extensive security and fire alarm system. To increase safety and security a fence was installed around Building 43, an armed guard and patrol dog were present before and after the Halloween holiday to prevent further break-ins, additional masonry infill will be installed to prohibit entry, and important items will be removed and stored.
Working with New York firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger and a team of esteemed historians, landscape architects, and forensic and structural engineers, Goody Clancy will put together the Historic Structures Report that documents the important architectural features of the building and identifies future rehabilitation options. Jean Carroon AAA, Principal for Preservation at Goody Clancy, notes, “The Historic Structures Report is the foundation for all future work in the redevelopment of a historic building and we’re thrilled to lead such an important part of this wonderful project”.
As an important first step in the planning process, the Historic Structures Report forms the foundation for future development plans for the Richardson Olmsted Complex. The first steps of the HSR involve evaluation of the existing conditions and the review of historical materials. The project team provided an update on the work completed to date, noting some of the most interesting elements of the buildings including areas where the original mortar colors still exist and where the outlines of early 20th century porches can be seen on the exterior walls. Copies of original drawings completed by H. H. Richardson have been recovered which clearly document the Richardson Olmsted Center as the early harbinger of Richardsonian Romanesque, the only architectural style to carry the name of an American architect.