United Nations Building

New York, NY

EverGreene performed a conditions assessment, prepared treatment recommendations, and submitted the final treatment report for two murals located in the General Assembly of the United Nations Building, one of the most iconic sites in New York City. The murals were designed by Fernand Léger and executed by Bruce Gregory in 1952.

Conservators inspected the murals and conducted testing to determine the most appropriate conservation treatments. For the most part, the murals were structurally stable but soiled with a fine dark particulate. Conservators then tested areas of the mural with aqueous cleaning solutions and dry cleaning methods. Aqueous cleaning was effective in completely removing all of the surface dirt without leaving behind any residue or debris. However, some colors were sensitive to water or liquids and had to be partially or selectively cleaned. Surface dirt was removed with water applied on damp Webril (cotton pad) in a gentle circular motion. The paint in sensitive areas was also dry cleaned with a Chem-sponge. Lifting paint was stabilized with an acrylic resin adhesive, which was applied with a small brush. In necessary areas, the lifting paint was flattened by ironing through a Mylar barrier with a tacking iron. Areas of loss were then color-matched, infilled, and inpainted.

In addition to our conservation of the murals, we implemented traditional 3-coat plaster throughout the UN Building. Craftsmen also spray-applied acoustic plaster in both the General Assembly and Security Council Chamber. In total, EverGreene applied over 150,000 square-feet of acoustic, veneer, and traditional 3-coat plaster to the significant spaces in the building.