El Dorado Building Art Deco Entrance

New York, NY

The high rise El Dorado Apartment Building at 300 Central Park West was designed in 1929 by the architectural firm Margon & Holder with Emery Roth as consulting architect. It is known as one of the most distinguished Art Deco style residential buildings in New York City, constructed as part of the early 20th century redevelopment of Central Park West. The building features extensive exterior and interior decorative metalwork, including French doors, door surrounds, spandrel panels, grilles and elevator doors.

Although in remarkably good condition, the metalwork has taken on a dulled appearance and exhibits a greenish-brown patina and spots of green corrosion. We were contracted to identify the metals of the exterior entrances and interior lobby, determine the original appearance of the metalwork, identify the conditions affecting their appearance, and design a restoration treatment plan.

We identified the elemental composition of the metals through x-ray fluorescence analysis. The primary metal was found to be “nickel silver,” a copper-nickel-zinc alloy popular in Art Deco architecture. Intentional variation of the ratio of elements in the alloy created a color scheme of contrasting white and yellow metals. We assessed the condition of the metalwork and provided specifications for the cleaning and repair of the metalwork to restore it to its original appearance.