NDA - Penn Station Glass Blocks—Private

New York, NY

Our conservators worked with WSP to salvage and treat 18 historic glass blocks retrieved from the site of the original New York City Penn Station Building (1910-1963). The goal of the project was not a full restoration, but to prepare the glass for future display. The glass blocks were previously removed in sections approximately 4’x4′ and were placed in storage for future treatment. The glass blocks themselves are 3″x3″ with a thick section of mortar between each block. All the glass blocks were covered with a layer of grout, as granite floor pavers had previously been set on top; the residue of this treatment caused damage to the glass in several locations. The scope of the project was to clean the 6 individual blocks and 2 of the 3 panel sections. For the third panel, the perimeter edges were be trimmed and superficial cleaning completed for comparison to the other panels for display.

Onsite treatment involved documenting conditions, and selective removal and cutting from the larger panels. The blocks were then moved to the EverGreene Conservation Studio to perform the rest of the treatments, which included cleaning tests; cleaning the recovered bricks by removing grout, soiling, and lead paint from all the pieces, as well as the mortar from the six individual blocks; and repairing and stabilizing the blocks where necessary.