EverGreene News

Traditional Techniques: Decorative Finishes

Understanding Traditional Techniques: Decorative Finishes

As part of our partnership with the New York Landmarks Conservancy and ICAA/NY, our fourth and final class will delve into the world of specialty finishes. From gilded ornament to unique wall treatments, an expertly implemented specialty finish can act as the final touch or much-needed “wow” factor for any space. Director of EverGreene’s Specialty Finishes studio Alexander Kellum, will discuss the significance of incorporating specialty finishes into a interior design scheme. In the studio, participants will have the opportunity to try a hand a gilding, Venetian plaster, or glazing!

Space is limited and registration is required.

Click here to register!

Traditional Techniques: Plaster

Traditional Techniques: Plaster

The second course offering in the Traditional Techniques series will cover the use and application of plaster in historic and contemporary interiors. From mold-making to casting, EverGreene Project Manager, Max Newroth will walk through the process for restoring and re-creating historic plaster finishes. Attendees will have the chance to work with the material, crafting plaster ornament or learning how to point plaster. Case studies may include the Ohio Theatre Lobby (Cleveland), King Street Station (Seattle) and Kings Theatre (Brooklyn).

Space is limited and registration is required.




Traditional Techniques: Murals & Conservation

Traditional Trades: Murals

This spring, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, ICAA/NY and EverGreene are sponsoring a 4-part series exploring the traditional trades and techniques implemented in historic restoration and new design. The classes, held at the EverGreene studio, will cover topics such as Murals & Conservation, Plaster, Stained Glass, and Decorative Finishes.

For the first course, Bill Mensching, Director of the Mural Studio, and conservator Neela Wickremesinghe will detail the steps involved in the restoration and re-creation of historic murals: from discovery and conservation to new design based upon archival photos. Case studies may include the Ohio Theatre Lobby (Cleveland), The Sherry-Netherland and the New York Public Library.

Space is limited and registration is required.


DC Double Play!

The Big Build at the National Building Museum
Cast Plaster! Make Stencils! Have Fun!

Bring the whole family to visit EverGreene at the National Building Museum! Kids can cast plaster ornament, make stenciled art and take home their very own creations!

Visit the website for more info!

Design DC Takes a Tour Through the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office! 

Join the General Services Administration, Mills + Schnoering Architects, EverGreene Architectural Arts and The National Museum of Civil War Medicine on a tour of the historic Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office. Focusing on the discovery and restoration of the 1853 boarding house, the tour will examine how this once-forgotten space was discovered and restored, including the re-creation of more than 15 different Civil War-era wallcoverings.

Discovered in 1997, Clara Barton’s Missing Soldiers Office is now restored as a museum honoring Barton’s Civil War efforts.
Click here for more information!

Restoring the Ohio Theatre

Ohio Theatre lobby

The full-color rendering of the restored lobby

Work is underway to restore the historic Ohio Theatre. The lobby was severely damaged in a 1964 fire, and though it reopened later that year, its Italian Renaissance-style ornament was lost. EverGreene is working closely with architects Westlake Reed Leskosky and Playhouse Square to return the 16th-century opulence to the Ohio. Using archival photographs, drawings and original blueprints, in addition to an on-site investigation that uncovered lost ornament beneath the post-historic ceiling, designers and craftsmen will recreate what was once lost. Ornamental elements found in the adjacent Lamb-designed State Theatre will act as references for designing the Ohio’s pillars and capitals. Artists will implement a historically-accurate decorative palette to the restored lobby, evoking the original Old World grandeur.

Ohio Theatre lobby

From left to right, the progression of uncovered, historic ornament to newly created casts

EverGreene @ LHAT

EverGreene will be attending the 2015 LHAT Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee from July 19-21st. The conference includes tours of historic theatres such as the Ryman Auditorium and Belcourt Theatre, a silent auction and the 2015 Awards Ceremony, celebrating historic theatre excellence. EverGreene will exhibit in Monday’s Expo! Stop by our booth and take a look at what we’ve been up to!

For more information and schedule details, click here.

Traditional Trades & Techniques: Plaster

New York Landmarks Conservancy

The last class offering in the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s traditional trades & techniques series will explore the use and versatility of plaster; an amazing material employed in a wide range of settings and applications. This class will explore how plaster is used in architectural spaces – from flat installation to the creation of historic and contemporary ornament. Case studies may include the Ohio Theatre (Cleveland), King Street Station (Seattle) and the Russian Lounge at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC). Participants will have the opportunity to cast ornament.

Space is limited and registration is required.

Register here!

Sacred Sites Panel Discussion

Sacred Sites

The 3 P’s of restoring, renewing and renovating your house of worship

In concurrence with the New York Landmark Conservancy’s Sacred Sites month, there will be a panel discussion held in our studio this Thursday, May 7th. Please join us for this presentation on what you need to know if you are considering a renovation, restoration, or renewal of your historic worship space. Our panel of experts will walk you through the steps — from master planning & fundraising to design, decoration & construction — so your vision can become a reality.

Thursday, May 7, 2014
EverGreene Architectural Arts
450 West 31st Street, 7th Floor
5:30 Reception
6:00 – 7:00 Panel Discussion

Architect / Thomas Fenniman, AIA, Thomas A. Fenniman, Architect
Capital Campaign Consultant / Tom Kissane, Principal & Managing Director, CCS
Liturgical Arts Specialist / Emily Sottile, Director of the Sacred Spaces Studio, EverGreene Architectural Arts

Moderator / Ann-Isabel Friedman, Director, Sacred Sites Program, New York Landmarks Conservancy

The program is free, but space is limited and registration is required.

Register here!

EverGreene on the West Coast

The Sacramento Valley Station mural

On Saturday, March 21st, EverGreene participated in the Western Chapter/Association for Preservation Technology (WC/APT) meeting in Sacramento. Alongside Page + Turnbull, EverGreene guided APT members through the Sacramento Valley Station, currently under renovation. Conservator Kumiko Hisano spoke to members about EverGreene’s forthcoming conservation of the early 20th century mural, Breaking Ground at Sacramento, January 8, 1863 for Transcontinental Railroad. The mural, installed in the Sacramento Valley Station in the late 1920’s, was painted by California native John A. MacQuarrie, known for his work in Southern Pacific terminals and Houston’s Grand Central Station.

Over the years, the mural has been exposed to cigarette smoke and post-historic paint drips, distorting the colors and overall composition of the artwork. Breaking Ground, will benefit greatly from a surface cleaning, consolidation and inpainting. Conservators will use an aqueous solution to remove the nicotine and other pollutants and inpaint areas of loss, returning the inherent beauty to the historic artwork.

EverGreene’s Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award Trifecta

EverGreene is pleased to announce that three Brooklyn projects—Kings Theatre, Grace Church and St. Joseph’s CoCathedral—have been honored with Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

In 2013, St. Joseph’s was elevated to CoCathedral status. To prepare for the 2014 rededication, EverGreene Architectural Arts restored historic finishes, conserved century-old murals and added new liturgical artwork—including the design and fabrication of 25 figurative and over 100 decorative murals —recognizing St. Joseph’s new status. The design of new decoration was guided by respect for the tradition of ecclesiastical visual arts to induce devotion and meditation, to communicate Catholic history, and to instruct theology.

At Kings Theatre, EverGreene artisans restored ornamental plaster, decorative paint, historic wood and metal finishes. The 1929 theatre was left abandoned for decades and had fallen victim to the damaging effects of time, flooding and vandalism. In 2013, The Kings Theatre Redevelopment Company (ACE Theatrical Group, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, and the National Development Council) was chosen to revive the theatre as an economic engine and cultural hub. EverGreene worked with Gilbane Construction and Martinez + Johnson Architects to completely rehabilitate and restore Kings Theatre, returning the brilliance and majesty inherent in Kings’ wondrous design.

For the conservation and restoration of Grace Church, EverGreene conservators conducted a historic finishes investigation, uncovering designs that once adorned the walls and ceilings of the Brooklyn Heights church. It was determined that the historic decoration is based in part on designs found in Pugin’s “Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament.” To return the church back to its 1866 decorative scheme, layers of overpaint were removed from the ceiling before conservators inpainted areas where the design had been compromised. As an alternative to the full restoration of the 1866 campaign, the church and EverGreene’s studio artists struck a balance to incorporate historical elements that harmonize with the church’s architecture and current mission.

Swinden Family Visit

Swinden Mural Goldwater

Albert Swinden's great grandson photographs the mural

Three generations of Swindens visited EverGreene’s studio to view Albert Swinden’s 1942 mural, Abstraction, which he painted for Goldwater Hospital in New York City. Swinden’s daughter, grandson and great grandson met with EverGreene project manager, Sarah Kloze, to take a peek at the work our conservators have been doing to conserve the large-scale mural. The mural, installed in one of the dayrooms of the historic Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, had been painted over and lost for decades. EverGreene conservators located this artwork, as well as the historic Joseph Rugolo mural, and safely removed the two works from the walls, careful to not damage the canvas. Using a variety of thin-blade palette knives and scalpels, they detached the canvas from the plaster substrate and implemented emergency paint-stabilization techniques as necessary.

Once removed from the site, restoration began at EverGreene’s plaster studio, which had been converted into a negative-air chamber and lead-containment zone. Conservators used both chemical strippers and hand tools to painstakingly remove the overpaint from the historic murals: scalpels and small blades proved most useful in the removal of certain areas of overpaint from the Swinden mural.

Suprematist precision and simplicity is evident in Swinden’s mural; his use of abstract forms makes this work unique amongst WPA-commissioned murals. This was the first time his family had ever seen this historic work in person.

Last year, EverGreene hosted the descendants of artist Joseph Aurta at The Sherry-Netherland while our conservators restored the ceiling lobby mural. Restoring and conserving historic spaces and the art that adorned them not only preserves the architectural history of a region, but the legacy of a city, a community, a family.

Swinden Mural Goldwater

Project manager, Sarah Kloze, discusses the conservation process

19th Century Relic Turned Modern Marvel: Illinois State Capitol Receives a National AIA Award

Conservators and craftsmen restored historic finishes in the Capitol's west wing

We are thrilled to announce that the Illinois State Capitol West Wing Restoration has won a National AIA Honor Award for Interior Architecture! In addition to being recognized by AIA, the restoration of the Illinois State Capitol West Wing also received the Driehaus Award from Landmarks Illinois. Earlier phases of the Capitol restoration, in which EverGreene was involved, have received awards from AIA Chicago and Illinois State Preservation among others.

Designed by Alfred Piquenard between 1868 and 1888, the Capitol represents the zenith of Second Empire design in the state. EverGreene studied the original designs and conducted finishes investigations throughout the the Capitol. Our craftsmen and conservators reinstated the historic decorative scheme in Room 309, the grand stair and public corridors. Our work included reinstating hand painted decoration, faux marbling, stenciling, gilding and glazing. Conservators also restored the historic Fuchs mural in the grand staircase and scagliola in the first floor lobby. The restoration, completed in 2013, marks the end of the second phase of a comprehensive renovation program. Vinci Hamp, of Chicago, were the architects & interior designers.

From the AIA Jury:
“This sensitive restoration seamlessly integrates modern building technologies and reestablishes the elegance of the original 19th-century building.”

Faux Stones at the National Zoo

EverGreene has finished painting the General Service Building Retaining Wall at the National Zoo Park. Our artists used Keim paint to transform the cast concrete; making it appear like the stone walls in nearby Rock Creek Park. Decorative painters carefully blended colors to create a custom, hyper-realistic stone façade for the 43ft-tall retaining wall. After applying the base coat, five different colors and a multitude of painting techniques, including glazing and stippling, were implemented to mimic the appearance of real stone. To finish the project, artisans sealed the formwork with Keim Concretal dilution and Keim Lazur. The National Zoo is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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EverGreene at the OHNY WKND

This weekend, October 11th and 12th, Open House New York unlocks the doors to the most architecturally significant buildings across the city. This year, OHNY will step inside four historic spaces, restored by EverGreene conservators: The New Amsterdam Theatre, Eldridge Street Synagogue, Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House and Temple Emanu-El. Each of these magnificent sites features awe-inspiring ornament and mesmerizing narratives, cementing their place in the architectural canon of New York City.

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ENR Honors the Maricopa County Security Building with the Best Restoration Project Award in the Southwest Region

Maricopa County Security Building

Maricopa County Security Building after restoration

The Maricopa County Security Building, once the tallest building in Arizona, has been entirely revitalized. Under the guidance of Foresite Construction, EverGreene restored the decorative paint and plaster in the 8th floor ballroom. Our conservators often use a hybrid of traditional preservation techniques and contemporary restoration strategies to return functionality to a space while also maintaining its historical significance and integrity. Such was the approach implemented in restoring the Security Building in Phoenix. The decorative ceiling in the 8th floor ballroom, the most significant decorative element in the Renaissance Revivalist structure, had succumb to years of water damage and neglect.

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EverGreene at the 38th LHAT Conference

Jeff Greene, Terry Vanderwell and Bill Mensching speak about restoring historic ornament.

The 38th annual LHAT conference, attracted more than 375 theatre owners and enthusiasts from across the country to New York City last month. The conference focuses on the theatre as a dynamic space that is alive and transformational and the operating, maintaining and decorating of historic theatre buildings.

EverGreene participated in many aspects of the conference from the educational session to the tours to the expo floor. In “Historic Ornament 101” Jeff Greene, Bill Mensching and Terry Vanderwell presented a primer on restoring a theater, from historic survey to determining appropriate colors, to designing ornament, to painting and installing decoration that morph the space–extending the fantastical into the realm of the real. When it comes to design and decorative schemes, every minute detail is taken into consideration.

Jeff Greene and Bill Mensching discuss color analysis and design.

Jeff Greene, with Anne Weber from Mills & Schnoering Architects and K2’s Eric Seifert, discussed the various acoustical solutions used to transform theatres and concert halls into ideal spaces for shows and recitals while retaining their historic character. Bill Mensching joined Bill Register, Vice President of Operations for the Nederlander Organization, in leading a tour of the newly renovated Richard Rodgers Theatre where he discussed (among other things) the discovery and complete restoration of the lost proscenium.

Toland Grinnell guides visitors through the plaster process at Kings Theatre

To cap off a great conference, attendees visited the massive and ornate Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, where EverGreene’s Jeff Greene and Toland Grinnell along with other members of the design team led a construction tour of the restoration project. The 2,300-seat theater, vacant for decades, is scheduled to reopen, as resplendent as it was in 1927, in the spring 2015.

For EverGreene, the restoration and preservation of theatres is civic duty. The theatre remains a space around which the community gathers to experience the fantastic and somber, the comedic and dramatic. In a time when most entertainment is experienced on an individual basis on hand-held, pocket-sized devices, it is important to celebrate and preserve the spaces that encourage a shared, communal experience.



The Lady of Wisdom Shines Once More

EverGreene_Lady of Wisdom_Maine State Capitol

The Lady of Wisdom atop the Maine State House

The Maine State House was completed in 1832. Originally capped by a cupola, the State House was remodeled from 1909-1910 and the cupola was replaced by the current copper-clad dome rising to a height of 185 feet. The dome, along with its decorative statue by William Clark Noble has undergone a complete restoration under Consigli Construction Co. Noble was a famed monumental sculptor at the turn of the 20th century most well-known for The Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Rhode Island. His copper statue depicting the Lady of Wisdom had suffered severe weather damage over the years. EverGreene restored the Lady of Wisdom statue—which measures 15’ from toe to torch—back to her early 20th century grandeur. Conservators Jill Eide and Terry Brackenberry worked 200 feet above ground. They carefully scraped away the heavily damaged layer of gold leaf, added an exterior metal sealant for protection and then applied a tinted primer to the copper figure. To regild the statue, they used 23 karat gold leaf, reviving the Lady of Wisdom and her distinctive golden gleam.



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EverGreene Presents the Perfect Plaster Cast

EverGreene on Casting Plaster
EverGreene’s Toland Grinell instructs a guest how to create a plaster cast.

EverGreene was invited to the Plastering & Spray Fireproofing Contractors Union Conference at New York City’s historic Roosevelt Hotel. Project Manager Toldand Grinell and Master Plasterer Anthony Kerstens demonstrated how to cast sculptural ornament in plaster. Using one of EverGreene’s decorative molds, they displayed the precision and care necessary for fabricating a perfect plaster cast.

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A Celebratory Toast for The Sherry-Netherland Mural Restoration


The Reception at The Sherry-Netherland

The Sherry-Netherland hosted residents and EverGreene conservators and crew at a cocktail reception celebrating the restoration of its historic lobby mural. The mural, painted by Joseph Aruta, is based on Raphael’s frescoes in Cardinal Bibbiena’s Loggetta in the Vatican Palace. It depicts eight female figures, likely representing eight of the nine Muses, rendered in a style popularized during the Renaissance and Neo-Classical period.

In April 2013, EverGreene conducted an investigative study of the hotel lobby. Utilizing both chemical and mechanical means, conservators created exposure windows (which consists of removing several small sections of overpaint) to reveal the surprisingly intact mural underneath. After further analysis, it was determined that a full restoration would be possible. Over the course of seven months, a team of EverGreene conservators and technicians removed thirteen layers of overpaint, as well as several applications of skim coating and various patching. While most post-historic paint layers were removed chemically with a variety of solvent gels and strippers, the surface coat was manually removed, inch-by-inch, with a scalpel.

In E.B. White’s essay “Here is New York,” he writes; “In the country there are a few chances of sudden rejuvenation—a shift in weather, perhaps, or something arriving in the mail. But in New York the chances are endless.” Discovering The Sherry-Netherland’s glorious past, was a quintessential New York “WOW!” moment.  EverGreene’s conservators, plasterers, designers and artists know that there are stories tucked neatly under every coat of paint and beneath every stone; unearthing what has come before can be the most thrilling step forward. The fully restored mural is now on view for all who want to see this amazing New York City landmark on 59th & Fifth.

EverGreene President and conservators raise a glass at The Sherry-Netherland

EverGreene President and conservators raise a glass at The Sherry-Netherland


Read the April 2014 Curbed NY article
Read the NY Daily News article
Read the December 2013 Curbed NY article

The Continental Shift of Periodic Elements

Salon Doré from the Hôtel de la Trémoille, Paris, ca. 1781. © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Salon Doré, originally constructed and installed in the Hôtel de la Trémoille in 1781, has reopened in San Francisco’s  Legion of Honor over 5500 miles  from its original Parisian home. Legion of Honor curator, Martin Chapman, began conservation efforts early 2013 to return the room to its original intended use, as a salon de compagnie. The room will be an all-encompassing environment, harkening back to the reign of Louis XVI, with 18th century-style furnishings arranged according to the room’s original floor plan. The restored Salon Doré will set a new standard for American period rooms; acting not as a backdrop for antiques but as the historic artifacts themselves.

The Salon Doré is not only a historical treasure, but one that has survived three instances of near-destruction. It has been relocated six times since 1781. When its first home, the Hôtel de la Trémoille, was demolished to make way for the grand boulevards comprising Baron Haussmann’s renovation of Paris in 1877, the Marquise de Croix relocated the Salon Doré paneling to her new home on the first floor of the Hôtel d’Humières. In 1905, the Hotel d’Humières was demolished to make way for new apartment complexes and the salon panels were bought by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to adorn the walls of his new house in England. Less than ten years later, the ownership of the orphan salon changed hands again, this time to American Otto Kahn who installed the panels within his mansion on Fifth Avenue at 91st Street in New York City. The masterpiece was relocated twice more before finally being gifted by HVAC manufacturer Richard Rheem, to the Legion of Honor.

EverGreene Architectural Arts worked alongside Legion of Honor and advised on the perceivable historic authenticity of particular paint types. Preservation, restoration and conservation are the crux of EverGreene’s mission. The Salon Doré is one of the oldest structures EverGreene conservators have helped to restore. Revitalizing archaeological artifacts—ones that have endured both time and displacement—and preserving their didactic worth for the enrichment of the contemporary public is an uplifting experience. It is and honor and a rare opportunity to contribute our expertise and knowledge of historic structures and treatments to a room with a narrative so demonstrative of architectural perseverance and turbulence.

New York Landmarks Conservancy Professional Circle Tour at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Tuesday April 8th

St. Joseph's Co-Cathedral, Brooklyn

Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Brooklyn

Tuesday April 8, 8:30 – 9:30 am
Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific St., Brooklyn

The New York Landmarks Conservancy is offering a Professional Circle tour of the interior renovation and new design at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Brooklyn. Led by EverGreene Architectural Art’s Director of the Sacred Space Studio, Emily Sottile, the tour will delve into the parish’s rich history and the cathedral’s art historical significance.

St. Joseph’s, designed by architect Francis J. Berlenbach Jr., was completed a century ago as a parish church and was elevated to Co-Cathedral status in March 2013. It will be re-dedicated on May 3rd, 2014. The design of new decoration respects the tradition of ecclesiastical visual arts and communicates Catholic history and theology. St. Joseph, the Patron Saint of the Universal Church, is a fitting choice for the new Co-Cathedral of the Diocese of Brooklyn which celebrates Mass in 42 different languages throughout Brooklyn and Queens.

The Conservancy’s Sacred Sites program recently pledged a $35,000 Robert W. Wilson Challenge grant towards stained-glass restoration at the church.

This tour is being offered as part of the Conservancy’s celebration of Sacred Sites Month (May 2014) and the state-wide Sacred Sites Open House Weekend, May 17-18.

St. Joseph’s is within easy walking distance of the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center subway lines B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4 and 5.  Or via the C train to the Clinton-Washington Avenue stop.

Space is limited to 25 members, so please register early.

For more information, contact Jenna Smith at 212-995 5260 orJennaSmith@nylandmarks.org

Jeff Greene on the Legacy of Patrick Keely

Jeff Greene speaking at the 24th Annual Symposium on Public Monuments

On Friday March 21st, Jeff Greene, EverGreene’s Founder and President, spoke about architect Charles Patrick Keely and his expansive legacy and significant imprint on American Catholic architecture. The presentation was part of the Monuments Conservancy’s 24th Annual Symposium on Public Monuments, held at the Time Life Building.

It is estimated that Keely, whose career spanned from the late-1840s until the mid-1890s, designed more than 600 churches and related structures. That averages approximately one church per month for the life of his career—an astounding body of work. His designs spoke to the growing immigrant populations and often served as the touchstone of their communities. Keely worked in a broad range of European styles—from the Italian Baroque which influenced St. Francis Xavier church in New York City to Victorian Gothic as seen in Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Albany, New York. Whether executed in the vernacular style, like St. Mary’s in Halifax, Nova Scotia or the high style, like Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston, his buildings emphasized quality and craftsmanship and reflected the make-up of the community. Keely’s churches, which can be found throughout the Eastern United States and in Canada, were influenced by his own training as a carpenter as well as European standards of ecclesiastical design and included decorative finishes influenced by prominent 19th Century architects and designers such as Pugin,  Audsely and Eastlake.

One of the symposium’s goals is to encourage further research and appreciation of Keely’s work amongst younger generations. For the first time the program included an essay contest, open to students of the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ. St. Elizabeth’s Motherhouse was designed by Keely and his son-in-law, Thomas Houghton designed the chapel. EverGreene sponsored the contest and Jeff was pleased to present Ashley Bouwense, a sophomore at the College, with a $500 check for her winning essay: “Patrick Charles Keely at Convent Station,” which explored the expression of Patrick Keely’s art, character and faith in the buildings of Convent Station.

Restoring Murals at The Sherry Netherland Hotel

Watch our conservation technicians restoring murals at The Sherry Netherland Hotel. The ceiling mural in the lobby is based on Raphael’s frescoes in Cardinal Bibbiena’s Loggetta at the Vatican Palace (Vatican City, Rome). The style was popularized during the Renaissance and the Neoclassical period and was beautifully recreated at the Sherry Netherland in the 1920s by artist Joseph Aruta.

Exposure Window from The Sherry Netherland Hotel MuralsIn April of 2013, we conducted the investigative study. Utilizing both chemical and mechanical means, we removed several small squares or “exposure windows,” of overpaint to reveal the surprisingly intact murals underneath. Once we fully understood the original materials, we realized that a full restoration would be possible. We then tested methods and techniques to develop our plan for conserving the murals.

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King Street Station recieves a 2013 AIA Jury Recognition for Restoration

King Street Station

EverGreene’s project with ZGF Architects at King Street Station in Seattle just received a Jury Recognition award from AIA for restoration. EverGreene performed the original feasibility and plaster studies, historic plaster ornament cataloging and restoration, and on-site casting, replication, and installation of all the ornament to return the space to its 1906 original design. Click to see some of our work in action at the King Street Station Restoration.

The AIA Jury writes…

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The renewal is underway at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY

St Josephs Co Cathedral Brooklyn Design Rendering

EverGreene is honored to assist the Diocese of Brooklyn in the renewal of St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. In preparation for the spring 2014 re-dedication, we are restoring the existing finishes and adding painted decoration, murals, plaster elements and other liturgical appointments. Originally built as a parish church, the renewal recognizes St. Joseph’s new status as Co-Cathedral, the hub of Brooklyn’s Catholic life.

In the summer of 2013, EverGreene’s Historic Finishes Investigation analyzed and documented the composition and pathologies of the Co-Cathedral’s decorative finishes and the findings informed our design process. Design drawings for 21 new murals, plaster decoration, a new altar, ambo and other liturgical furnishings began immediately; simultaneously scaffolding was erected so that plaster repairs and conservation of the existing murals could get underway. The fast track project began in November, and is expected to complete in February 2014.

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EverGreene is hosting APTI’s Traditional Trades Demonstrations on October 14th

EverGreene at Preserving the Metropolis

Discover Something Different this Columbus Day…

As part of the Association for Preservation Technology Conference, Preserving the Metropolis, EverGreene Architectural Arts is hosting Traditional Trades demonstrations on Monday, October 14th from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Stop by our studio at 450 West 31st Street and see gilding, masonry, stained glass, ornamental plaster, lime mortar, carpentry and metal demonstrations by artists and craftsmen who are leaders in their fields. See the schedule below. No registration is required, so just come by!

Whether your projects are classic or contemporary, this is a great way to learn something new (and get a great view of Phase 3 of the High Line!) Continue reading

Preserving the Metropolis: Join EverGreene at APTI NY

Preserving the Metropolis

EverGreene is excited to be part of the Annual Association for Preservation Technology International conference this year, “Preserving the Metropolis” from October 11th-October 15th. Some of our most exciting & most recent projects will be featured in field sessions, papers, and trades demonstrations.

Since 1978 EverGreene has provided restorationconservation, and new design services to hundreds of theaterssacred spacescivic buildingsmuseums, and other significant buildings in New York City. We’re lucky to have restoration and conservation projects in many of New York’s finest historic landmarks – like the Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn or Empire State Building lobby ceiling – and work in contemporary spaces like HOK’s new Harlem Hospital building. Continue reading

Meet Emily Sottile, Our New Director of the Sacred Studio

Emily Sottile Director of the Sacred StudioAs the Director of Sacred Space Studio, Emily Sottile brings a unique perspective to EverGreene; one that melds two very important influences in her life: religion and art.

“I love being in sacred spaces; the feeling, sounds, and what the decorations teach. This position draws on my training as an art historian, and study of religious traditions around the world. I believe that for many, the arc of our lives are intertwined with our spiritual homes, but religious buildings are also significant to the broader community. I feel privileged to help communities preserve tradition through restoration and articulate messages through art,” Emily says.

Emily is the link between congregations and EverGreene’s artists, designers and craftsmen. Many of the sanctuaries she visits have been aesthetically compromised or damaged over time and no longer relate to the original architecture. Development of appropriate designs—traditional or contemporary—and implementation strategies is a part of the process for both historic and new buildings.

“The conversation begins by identifying the need – this might be returning murals to legibility through conservation, restoring damaged ornament so it doesn’t fall, or adding new decoration,” Emily says.

“Many houses of worship have lost the sacred visual vocabulary generations have relied upon for instruction.  Renewal often starts with a finishes investigation to determine original decoration. We then use this information to develop a scheme that honors the building, reflects the congregation and enhances the community. Appropriateness guides the process.”

Grace Church Brooklyn Heights Conservation and Restoration

King’s Theatre isn’t the only place we’re working in Brooklyn; we’re also started work at Grace Episcopal Church in Brooklyn Heights.  Grace Church was designed in 1847 by the prolific Richard Upjohn, one of the leading Gothic Revivalists of the 19th century.  In 2010, our conservation team conducted a full scale investigation of the paint and decorative finishes with the hope of discovering the original decoration. What lay beneath, covered by layers of overpaint that attempted to “modernize” Grace Church, was a lush decorative painting scheme.

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The “Fabulous” Fox Theatre is on its way towards a fresh new look

Brad Stewart with EverGreene Architectural Arts injects a thin acrylic polymer into the plaster of the ceiling of the Fox Theatre
Our work is underway to conserve and renew the ceiling of the Fox Theatre in Downtown St. Louis, known by locals as the “Fabulous Fox.” In the above image, our own Brad Stewart performs plaster consolidation, a process of injecting a binding agent into crumbling plaster which reinforces and hardens the ornamentation. Photo by Stephanie S. CordleClick here to read more on St. Louis Today.

One of EverGreene’s restoration foremen, Edward Magee, is on site now, and discusses the project with a couple of local news teams. Watch the video below for a unique look from the top of of the scaffold. Click to read more on Fox St Louis.

Meet our new Head of Conservation, Richard Barrow

Richard Barrow, Head of Conservation

With more than 25 years of conservation experience gleaned from having worked on some of the most historic and notable building in the UK, Richard Barrow comes to us from across the pond. Richard’s career in conservation and restoration began after a series of left turns. He studied sculpture at Central St. Martins, then apprenticed with a master stone letter cutter and soon found himself learning plaster lining at Gloucester Cathedral (circa 1200). From there, Richard worked to restore Windsor Castle following the 1992 fire, and he continued to work for the Queen of England and the Royal Family. The rest is history.

We’re excited that Richard is leading our conservation team, and we’re lucky to have his hands-on experience and his team-building skills. For Richard, New York offered a new challenge. He aims to bring European conservation techniques and mentalities to significant (albeit, younger) American buildings. For his first EverGreene project, Richard served as a site supervisor for one of our biggest projects, Thurgood Marshall Federal Courthouse, New York and then lead the conservation effort on our oldest project, Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, Texas, built in 1768.

We’re excited that Richard is leading our conservation team, and we’re lucky to have his experience, hands-on experience, and his team-building skills.

Kings Theatre Restoration: Project Update

The Kings Theatre restoration is making some fantastic headway. We’ve been going full swing for a couple months now, and we’re so excited to show off some of our work. For some information about the project, along with some images of what it looked like before, click here.

Here are a couple snapshots of what we’ve been doing.

EverGreene painter is installing accent colors at the Grand Lobby ceiling. Plaster and decorative paint in the Grand Lobby is expected to be completed in August.

Plasterer is working on a recreated beam and column on the orchestra level in the auditorium. Nearly all the plaster columns and beams are being installed on historic metal framing. All the new plaster has the same thickness and density as the original plaster in the theater.

Painters are completing finishing touches on the Inner Lobby ceiling. The Inner Lobby is the first area of the theater to have completed plaster restoration and decorative paint.

League of Historic American Theaters: The Future of Creative Placemaking

EverGreene is at this year’s League of Historic American Theaters national convention in Minneapolis from July 17-20th. We’ll be participating in the conversation about “The Future of Creative Placemaking,” the theme of the convention, with theater owners, directors, designers, and architects. The convention is the largest gathering of historic theaters in the nation, and we are honored to be sponsors. If you’re planning on attending, come meet President, Jeff Greene, and Midwest Director of Restoration, Terry Vanderwell! We’re looking forward to seeing familiar faces, and hopefully some new ones too.

Join us at School of the Arts Institute of Chicago for a Presentation by President, Jeff Greene

Jeff Greene will be presenting on the preservation process this week at SAIC! Entry is free, and no RSVP is required. Just show up and be inspired. If you’re in the Chicago area, we’d love if you could join us.

Continue reading

Restoring Sacred Spaces: an NYLC Panel Presentation






Where to Begin?

Join us for a panel presentation to kick off the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s (NYLC) Sacred Sites Open House weekend. Industry experts will discuss the process and challenges of pursuing a renovation for historic worship spaces. We’ll talk about communicating the importance of historic buildings, fund raising, and restoration options.

• Architects Walter Sedovic, FAIA LEED & Jill H. Gotthelf AIA FAPT
• Historic Finishes Expert & Restoration Contractor, Jeff Greene
• Episcopal Priest & Capital Campaign Consultant, Jerry Keucher

Moderated by: Ann-Isabel Friedman Director of NYLC’s Sacred Sites Program

Attendance is free, but space is limited and registration is required.
Light refreshments will be served.

Walter SedovicEverGreeneNYLCFaith and Form

King Street Station Now Open!

Video courtesy of the Seattle Times. Click Here for a photo essay of the opening event.

King Street Station Grand Reopening Event

Patching the plasterOur work is just about done! We’re putting on the finishing touches, and are so proud of the new main waiting room at King Street Station. We hope you’ll join us at the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Grand Reopening event.

Wednesday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Main Waiting Room, King Street Station, South King Street and Third Avenue South

RSVP by emailing trevina.wang[at]seattle.gov.

More information here.

Verizon Building: in the Times

Verizon Building Lobby Murals

Today’s New York Times features an article about the murals in lower Manhattan’s Verizon Building. EverGreene has had the honor of working on these murals twice – once after the damage caused by 9/11, and again after Hurricane Sandy.

Be certain to click through the slide show to see images of Sandy’s devastation and EverGreene’s conservators at work.


14 Penn Plaza Project Recognized with a Lucy G. Moses Award!

The 14 Penn Plaza restoration project has been honored with a Lucy G. Moses Award from the the New York Landmarks Conservancy– this makes our 16th Lucy-winning project! Originally designed by Schwartz & Gross in 1925, EverGreene reinstated historic finishes in the lobby of 14 Penn Plaza including the decorative paint and ornamental plaster.  We worked closely with Swanke Hayden Connell Architects to develop new ornament based upon the original decoration. The Moses Awards are the Conservancy’s highest honors for outstanding preservation efforts and have been awarded for the past 40 years.

A shop drawing of a bracket which was then crafted in EverGreene’s Plaster Studio

Read more about the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Moses awards here.

Sacred Spaces II Seminar – Pasadena, CA

Jeff Greene

Please join us on February 20th, 11:30-1:30pm with the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles at the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena for an awe inspiring seminar featuring a special presentation by EverGreene President, Jeff Greene.  Registration is open to all Clergy, Professionals, Students, and anyone interested in sacred art, design, and architecture.

The Seminar will cover discussion on the use and meaning of sacred space in churches and synagogues… co-sponsored by Fuller Theological Seminary and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.

Jeff will take on the subject of sacred spaces and tell the story of his life’s pursuit which will cover some of the same themes as his talk on Sacred Architecture at the Liturgical Institute in Illinois in October, but with a fresh new angle. Over the past 34 years Jeff Greene has devoted himself to understanding sacred spaces.  He has been involved in the restoration and design of over 200 churches across the country. Drawing upon his experience Jeff will explore what makes a space sacred in his presentation as the main speaker at the Sacred Spaces II Seminar.

Other presenters and panelists include Fuller Theological Seminary’s William Dyrness, Ph.D., Hebrew Union College’s Joshua Holo, Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary’s Richard Mouw, Ph.D., and Jonathan Freund from the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.

First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena
3799 E. Sierra Madre
Pasadena, CA 91107

RSVP by NO LATER than February 8th online at www.jewishla.org/sacred-spaces-ii 

Kosher Lunch Provided!

For more information, email boardofrabbis@jewishla.org or call 323.761.8600.

Jewish Federation of Los Angeles


EverGreene is Hosting a Plaster Workshop for AIA CES Learning Units

Plaster Shop

EverGreene will now be offering a Plaster Workshop for AIA Continuing Education (CES) for  Learning Units, or for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of plaster.

Over the past 34 years a substantial portion of EverGreene’s work has focused on the restoration, consolidation, replication and new design of ornamental and flat plaster.  We have had the opportunity to study the application and behavior of this versatile material in scores of new and historic buildings across the country.  Through exploration of the most ubiquitous historic and contemporary systems as well as examination of case studies this program aims to better acquaint participants with plaster systems and application, the materials, and essential considerations for successful new and historic plaster projects.

This will workshop will:

1. Improve your ability to design projects that include plaster elements, promote long lasting repairs and avoid common pitfalls.

2. Review terminology, and dispel misconceptions about plaster applications.

3. Examine the methods used to evaluate the stability of existing plaster for historic restoration projects.

If you or your firm is interested, we can set up a time to host a workshop at our New York Studio, or provide a workshop in your own office if you are in the New York area. Please contact Emily Sottile for more information on scheduling or if you would like to be a part of our next plaster workshop.

For more information on AIA’s CES program, click here.

In All Things: Documentary about the Restoration of St. Francis Xavier

Join us on November 30th for the world premiere of “IN ALL THINGS”,  a documentary film detailing the history of the Church of St. Francis Xavier. The film features the work of EverGreene, including interviews with Jeff and other members of the EverGreene family!  This documentary has been in the works for 3.5 years by writer, director, and producer Patrick Brewis, and edited by Emmy-winners David Bhagat and Robin Skeete.

The film explores the rich history of the church through the lens of the recently completed renovation and restoration, while simultaneously weaving the thread of mission and service from the founding of the Society of Jesus through the founding of Xavier Mission, and right up to our present work for the poor and marginalized of the surrounding community.

There is no cost to attend the screenings and no ticket is required.  Seating will be first come, first served (doors open at 7:30pm on both Friday and Saturday Nights).  Free will offerings will be accepted by Church of St. Francis Xavier.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Rotunda at AMNH Now Open!

The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Rotunda is officially open! This past week EverGreene’s head conservator and Director of Restoration, Kim Lovejoy, was honored to serve as a special guest for the official re-opening press event yesterday, October 25th. Kim led tours of the mural and had the chance to share with museum patrons the story of our restoration process. The New York Times’   covered the reopening, below is an excerpt from his article describing the murals.

“And while the dueling barosaurus and allosaurus usually dominate the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda within, on this occasion we are lured to elaborate murals, partly hidden behind pillars, covering 5,200 square feet of the walls.

Freshly restored — their canvas was detaching from the mounts — they appear to be swirls of ocher and red-orange fantasy, a child’s picture book stretching upward, teeming with exoticism. There are mountain peaks and construction equipment, lions and zebras, surveying equipment and weaponry, Genghis Khan, Japanese warriors, a seated Buddha, a Boy Scout, scientific researchers and, again and again, Roosevelt.”

EverGreene was honored to be a part of the restoration for this historic site.

Click Here to read the rest of the New York Times article.

Click Here to read more about the murals and the rotunda on the American Museum of Natural History’s website.

What Makes A Space Sacred? Liturgical Institute Conference

Jeff Greene

What makes a space sacred?

Over the past 34 years Jeff Greene has devoted himself to understanding sacred spaces.  As president of EverGreene Architectural Arts he has been involved in the restoration and design of over 200 churches across the country. Drawing upon his experience Jeff will explore what makes a space sacred in his presentation at the Liturgical Institute’s Glory of Catholic Architecture conference on October 26th.

For more information and to register for the conference please visit the Liturgical Insitute’s website here.

If you are unable to attend the conference and would like a transcript of Jeff Greene’s What Makes a Space Sacred? talk please contact Patricia Zimmerman in our Chicago office at pzimmerman@evergreene.com or 708.358.1642.

Open House New York: EverGreene Studio Tours

Open House New York EverGreene Studio Tour

Come join EverGreene for our open house on Saturday, October 6th! Tour the studio that houses our world class and award winning designers, painters, sculptors, and conservators.

We are a full service studio that specializes in restoration, conservation, decoration, and new design for civic, sacred, theatrical, institutional, commercial, and private spaces. EverGreene has been privileged to work with thousands of projects across the US and all over the world since our establishment in 1978, and we are opening our doors for you to come learn how we do it. Some examples of our past work that can be seen in New York include Radio City Music Hall, Empire State Building, and the Plaza Hotel.

One hour tours begin every thirty minutes on the hour and half hour, and begin at 10:30 am, and continue until 4:30 pm.

450 West 31st Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001

We are located nearest the A, C, and E trains at Penn Station.

Keep up to date! Visit us on Facebook for more information and to keep up with what EverGreene is doing.

Visit OHNY for more open house opportunities, and to learn more about Open House New York.

An Introduction to Finishes Investigations

We made a video explaining what finishes investigations are and how they work. Check it out!

EverGreene and Environmental Sustainability

For over 30 years, EverGreene Architectural Arts has striven to be a pioneer in environmental sustainability. On a fundamental level, environmental sustainability is inherent to any restoration process: by conserving, maintaining, and restoring an interior, a vast amount of resources are spared, and it is in this manner that a core element of EverGreene’s business is at its inception intrinsically ‘green.’ EverGreene’s restoration practices are, however, just the beginning. Through the use of sustainable materials, working with local vendors, innovating material re-use, and recycling materials from job sites, ‘green’ practices are central to EverGreene’s business. Perhaps the pinnacle of EverGreene’s innovation is development of the G Series line of environmentally sustainable decorative finishes. Developed and produced in EverGreene’s NYC studio, the G Series includes materials such as:
- Low-VOC paints and sealants
- Lime-based plasters
- 100% recycled post-consumer glass coatings
- Salvaged precious metals

Combining aesthetics, durability, and sustainability, the G Series epitomizes EverGreene’s passion for ‘green’ innovation. Examples of G Series Applications include:
- The glass bead coating wall finish at a 409,000 square-foot state facility in California
- The lime-based plaster wall finish at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California
- The salvaged precious metals and plaster wall finish at a high-end apartment on New York’s Upper East Side

How to Measure EverGreene’s Effectiveness
Through a variety of practices, EverGreene uses its restoration and conservation techniques to look squarely towards the future.
- EverGreene’s plaster department employs trained craftsmen skilled in the consolidation of plaster, the reattachment of existing ornamental plaster, and the mechanical and crack repair of plaster. – EverGreene conservators recycle materials from their restoration sites to be either re-used or repurposed on other projects, thereby ensuring the lowest amount of waste possible. – EverGreene has pioneered various processes aimed at the re-use of specific on-site materials that would otherwise have to be discarded, achieved by consolidating existing finishes in order to spare an excess use of materials on site.
One of the metrics for determining the effect of restoration and conservation is called ‘embodied energy’ – an approximation of how much energy is required to transport materials to a building site, build a building, and then use it. In turn, the embodied energy of an historic building is equal to 5 to 15 gallons of gasoline per square foot. Therefore, with the 300 billion square feet of extant space in the United States, the current square footage of the US is equal to 1.5 to 4.5 trillion gallons of gas. This absolutely massive number speaks to the necessity of conserving and maintaining existing buildings rather than fabricating new structures. EverGreene is painstakingly aware of the exigency of conserving as much embodied energy as possible, and therefore goes to great lengths to develop innovative and unique means of maintaining and restoring as much of a project as possible.
In the aforementioned ways and many others, EverGreene has been and continues to be a pioneer in the design, innovation, and implementation of environmentally sustainable practices.

A Glimpse into the Studio

After 100 Years of Waiting, New Murals Complete Kentucky Capitol’s Classical Interior

FRANKFORT: Timed to coincide with the Kentucky State Capitol’s centennial celebration on June 4th and 5th 2010, EverGreene Architectural Arts has been commissioned to paint 4 pendentive murals, to be installed in the rotunda of Kentucky’s Statehouse.

When the Capitol Building was originally built, plans were in place for the muralist Frank Millet—a former Harvard classmate of Kentucky’s then Governor August E. Willson—to design and paint the mural pendentive areas. Tragically, Millet died on the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic on April 14, 1912, and with his passing, plans for murals in the Capitol rotunda were put on hold. Several initiatives to resurrect the murals were proposed in the years thereafter, but the various plans were shelved due to economics of state government.

When EverGreene Architectural Arts performed a restoration of the Kentucky State Capitol’s State Reception Room in 1991, Jeff Greene presented Capitol officials with a sketch of what the Capitol Rotunda could look like with painted pendentive murals. The sketch was put in an attic, and found by chance in 2005 by David Buchta, the Director and State Curator of the Kentucky Division of Historic Properties.

The Division of Historic Properties subsequently initiated a restoration of the Capitol Rotunda. The planning, logistics, and fundraising took over three years; in the course of this, Mr. Buchta and others realized that the restoration of the rotunda was an ideal time to incorporate new murals into the Capitol Centennial Legacy Commission. Based on Mr. Greene’s sketch from over a decade before, Mr. Buchta contacted EverGreene and began a discussion about the design process; initially, however, though the murals were solicited, the planning committee lacked the funding to actually commission the pendentive murals.

Marion Forcht, a member of the Historic Properties Advisory Commission, stepped forward to underwrite the entire mural project. Thanks to her extraordinary generosity, mural pendentive areas were—after close to 100 years of waiting—finally designed for the Kentucky State Capitol Rotunda. The donation is the largest in the history of the Capitol.

There are four pendentives, each with allegorical symbolism, historical iconography, and various symbols, landmarks, and representations of the State of Kentucky.

Pendentive 1: Nature: The Bounty of the Land This pendentive celebrates Kentucky’s agrarian foundations with the allegorical figure Ceres, symbol of agriculture and bounty. She is flanked by a jockey and a farmer, further emblems of some of Kentucky’s most notable agrarian symbols. In the background and in the stencils, farmland, race- tracks, and golden wheat indicate a bountiful harvest. The faux bas- relief depicts the aboriginal, pre- western beginnings of the commonwealth.

Pendentive 2: Industry: The Strength of Commerce This pendentive underscores the strength and breadth of Kentucky’s commercial underpinnings. The allegorical figure Mercury (or Hermes) represents commerce and trade, and is joined by a figure moving a barrel of bourbon, a significant element of Kentucky’s economy, and a blacksmith, who signifies the commonwealth’s well- documented history of manual labor, craftsmanship, and industry. Other iconographical elements include a locomotive crossing the Ohio River Bridge in Louisville, the Ashland refineries lining the riverbanks, and a faux- bas relief at pendentive’s base depicting a Native American Paleo- Indian period scene of the prehistory of industry.

Pendentive 3: Culture: The Fruits of Knowledge In this pendentive, the allegorical figure “Muse of the Arts” represents the tradition of music and dance, two elements intrinsic to Kentucky’s cultural heritage. The other figures of the pendentive are that of a teacher and a young girl learning to play the dulcimer, Kentucky’s state instrument, and a Jurist figure representing elements of law and instruction. The background includes elements of the Kentuckian landscape such as the Red River Gorge, and the faux bas- relief at the base of the pendentive depicts Native American men from the Woodland Period at Wickliffe Mounds (in Western Kentucky) playing drums.

Pendentive 4: Civitas: The Light of Progress This pendentive depicts the allegorical figure Athena, the goddess of civilization, progress, and strength. She is complimented by a coalminer, a symbol of one of Kentucky’s signature industries, and a city planner, a representation of progress and enlightenment. The faux bas relief at the mural’s base portrays Native Americans in animal skins hunting along Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace. In the background, symbols of technical and municipal progress such as the Roebling Suspension Bridge, the Lincoln and Davis memorials, and others are highlighted.