El Museo del Barrio Mosaic Conservation

Forrest Filler, Conservation Technician:

Over the past several years I’ve had an exciting time conserving a series of tile mosaics at El Museo del Barrio located at 1230 5th Avenue (104th Street); the project itself was undertaken by a collaborative team of experts in different conservation and related fields.  I had the pleasure of being part of the interdisciplinary team during this uniquely challenging project.  We started the project in the fall of 2008 during the renovation of the building and I’ve just about concluded our treatment on site.  EverGreene was invited to help stabilize, partially conserve, remove, re-install, and complete the conservation of a series of twenty-three William Grueby mosaic mural panels by the C. Pardee Works that were installed in 1924.  At that time, the building (which was built in 1922) housed the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.  Since 1977, the building has housed the Boys and Girls Harbor School, various tenants, and El Museo del Barrio.

I assisted throughout the conservation treatments from the initial stabilization of loose tiles, the careful cleaning of surface soiling, the reattachment of broken tiles, the infilling of missing tiles, to the final inpainting of losses.

Overall, it was a tremendous success; the panels are currently installed on the 104th Street lobby (originally they were installed on the 5th Avenue lobby) displayed in a historically appropriate fashion.  I hope you’ll have a chance to visit the museum!