E.W Howell had the honor of receiving The 2015 Jeffrey J. Zogg Build New York Award for their work on The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum-Carnegie Mansion Renovation. The Build New York Awards program was established in 1990 with the purpose of recognizing the positive impact of the New York state construction industry. The award is unique because it emphasizes the construction team as a whole.
For this project, E.W Howell worked closely with the Smithsonian Institution to restore the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum located in the Carnegie Hill Historic District. E.W Howell’s main concern was preserving the historical structure and maintaining the quality and character of the 1902 building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
E.W Howell’s main responsibilities included the exterior and interior masonry restoration of the 65,400 square-foot building. Renovation included the expansion of the exhibition space by 7,000 SF. This was accomplished by converting the current library into new contemporary galleries. The mansion project also included new freight elevators, new registrar offices and new art conservation labs.
Throughout the renovation E.W Howell had to overcome some challenges due to the unique circumstances of this historic project. The most important aspect of the project was to maintain the existing ceiling while installing new lighting, sprinkler systems, power and art hanging systems. Another challenge was the restoration of the original “Teak Room” which entailed the restoration of heavily stained wall paper, gold leaf in painting and restoration of the existing ceiling, restoration of the fireplace, stripping and refinishing the walls, and cleaning and restoring decorative teak wainscoting and cornices. Overall the project was a challenge but with E.W Howell’s exceptional team work the project turned out to be a complete success and now the Carnegie Mansion serves as a stunning space for the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. You can see the full list of winners from this year’s competition here.