The Cloisters Museum

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Built by the Rockefeller family in the 1930s, The Cloisters is located on four acres in Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, and houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval art and architecture collection. The structure incorporates architectural elements from five medieval French cloisters, as well as stone and other building materials indigenous to the Manhattan area. The facility overlooks the Hudson River, and is surrounded by an extensive array of gardens. The Cloisters required significant repair and restoration to maintain its structural and aesthetic integrity. Repairs were also needed to curtail water infiltration into the building that had the potential to damage artifacts dating from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries. Due to the building’s landmark status, the renovation project was governed by strict preservation guidelines. The project began in September 2003, and was successfully completed by the end of the 2004 construction season.

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Specific tasks on this assignment included:

  • Assessment and inspection of all areas of the building’s exterior
  • Determination of the degree of water infiltration into the building
  • Construction of a steel framework to support scaffolding that would otherwise exceed the load-bearing capacity of the building’s roof. The free-standing scaffold provided access to the structure’s façades without disrupting patron access
  • Removal and salvage of existing mission roof tiles to reach deteriorated substructures
  • Installation of new concrete roof decks, state-of-the-art roof membranes, and precisely crafted terra cotta roof tiles supplied by Boston Valley Terra Cotta
  • Pointing, stone restoration and replacement of some of the building’s windows

Project Portfolio Images

The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum

Project Details

  • Completion Date: 3/22/2005
  • Owner: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Architect: Walter B. Melvin Associates, Kaitsen Woo
  • General Contractor: Graciano Corporation
  • Tile Manufacturer: Boston Valley Terra Cotta

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