Friday, August 7, 2009

Please Pardon Our Appearance (Part 2)

Summer is a busy time in Bryant Park, and the capital improvement schedule is no exception. Craig, who updated us last week on the sanitary line installation in the 40th Street Allee, is back to explain what’s going on behind the sidewalk shed in front of the New York Public Library.

Bryant Park Corporation and the New York Public Library are partnering to restore the Library Plaza along Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 40th Streets. There are three distinct elements of work in the overall replacement-in-kind and cleaning program.

The first, currently in progress, is the reconstruction of the stairs along the 5th Avenue sidewalk. Over time, the foundations for the stairs have deteriorated and the granite steps have become misaligned and several have become unstable. The foundations are being reconstructed and many of the original steps will be put back in place, however, approximately seven tons of new granite will be required to replace original stones that were broken.

In addition, nearly 10 tons of bluestone and granite pavers will be installed throughout the entire Plaza to replace damaged pieces. The work on the stairs will be completed in early September, while the pavement work will be completed before the end of 2010.

The second step in the restoration is the repair and cleaning of all bronze elements on the plaza and the 42nd Street terrace, including two ornate flagpole bases, two torchieres, and various plaques.

Finally, the repair and cleaning of the masonry on the Plaza is the third element of the project. This includes the limestone balustrade railings along 5th Avenue, 42nd and 40th Streets, and the bases of the flagpoles. The bronze work and masonry repair will both be completed before the end of 2010.

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