This model was completed in 2007, the design is after an extant terracotta sculpture on the gothic inspired landmark by famed architect Cass Gilbert at 90 West Street, NYC. The building sits across from the WTC site and when the twin towers collapsed in 2001 some of the falling steel and debris caused considerable damage to the North facade of 90 West Street.The building was actually under renovation when the 9/11 collapse happened.
This damage was in addition to the raging fires that went on for days in 90 West, but the building was not destroyed because when it was built in 1907- over 100 years ago- the standard practice of the day in tall buildings especially was using hollow terracotta blocks for all walls and partition walls, as well as making up part of the floors. Today, such walls are typically either made from cheap mass-produced concrete block, or plasterboard. Concrete block is very soft, heat destroys concrete, plasterboard has little to no fire resistance at all. Terracotta blocks were made in a kiln originally, and were brought up to around 2,000 degrees F or more, thus, an ordinary wood, paper type structure fire is of little consequence to this material, that is the main reason the building survived.
The then present owners were unable to handle the costs of repairing the new damage and sold it to the current owners for $12 million. The new owners embarked on a $145 million restoration to restore the building as it was, and convert it to residential units.
The facade had to be completely removed, damaged terracotta units replaced with new ones, and the damaged stone replaced, and the whole North loor of this 25 story building, installed in little niche-like canopied cutaways, and their backs engaged into the terracotta block wall behind them.
The buildings’ top 8 or 10 floors are a veritable wedding cake of ornament featuring griffins and winged lions seated on pedistals, owls, gnome-like creatures, floral and vine ornaments, finials, crockets and capitals all capped with a copper mansard roof which itself was capped by finials.
90 West Street, 1907
A client expressed interest in this design for a renovation project in Nashville, so now this is in process for making the mold next week, that will make this design available now almost exactly 7 years after it was finished in Nov 2007.
If I were to do an updated version of this model sometime, there’s only a few minor changes I would do, mostly on the head/muzzle, for now he is what he is.
With the amount of work to cast these in concrete, and the weight, handling and all the rest I have priced these at $325 for the interior and $395 for concrete, plus shipping in a wood crate. It is unknown at the moment if this can be shipped Fedex ground or not, if it exceeds about 110# it will have to ship by truck as the added weight of the crate and packing will add about 45# and their weight limit is 150#.