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Building Conservation Associates

Moynihan Train Station

Location: New York, New York
Year Built: 1913
Original Architect: McKim, Mead & White

The James A. Farley Building was constructed from 1909 to 1913 according to the design of William Mitchell Kendall of McKim, Mead & White. The firm's design for a monumental Beaux-Arts building located in the business center of Manhattan features a grand row of twenty Corinthian columns along its principal facade on Eighth Avenue. The building was officially opened as the Pennsylvania Terminal Post Office on September 1, 1914. In 1918, the Pennsylvania Terminal Post Office became the U.S. General Post Office, headquarters for the New York Postmaster and the central post office for the city. The U.S. General Post Office was designated a historic landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1966 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 1982, the U.S. General Post Office was renamed the James A. Farley Building in honor of the U.S. Postmaster General who served in that position from 1933 to 1940.

This project entailed the conversion of the granite and terra cotta landmark post office to a major transportation complex. BCA was the preservation and conservation consultant. BCA carried out historical research, prepared an architectural history, and design guidelines. BCA prepared report submissions and made numerous presentations to SHPO for the adaptive reuse of the building. A Section 106 process was required for this building.

From 2000-2009, BCA conducted an extensive hands-on conditions survey of the exterior and interior of the post office building including the exterior granite and terra cotta, windows, interior marble, plaster, painted finishes, decorative metals and lighting. BCA conducted extensive materials testing including cleaning and paint analysis. BCA designed and executed investigative probes to determine the as- built construction and condition of the terra cotta cornice. BCA prepared plans and specifications for all restoration scope and coordinated its work with the many disciplines involved in this complex project. This project earned the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award given by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. From 2016 to 2021, BCA provided construction administration services for the restoration scope for all historic fabric of the station. 

Awards: Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award