Historic Restoration

LaGuardia Community College


At the time of its construction in 1914, this factory building was the largest concrete framed structure in the world.  Used by the Sunshine Biscuit Factory it has gone through many adaptive reuses in recent decades, at one point serving as the International Design Center of New York.  Currently, the majority occupant is the LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York. Working with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), the City University of New York (CUNY) and the College, Fuller and D’Angelo’s charge on this project is to probe, study, investigate and make recommendations on the state of the building’s terra cotta façade and what the potential corrective actions might be.  Previous probes and studies have indicated steel anchorage deterioration and terra cotta body failures as evidenced by failure of the faces of some units as well as cracking and spalling.  Although repairs and patches have been made in though the years, the façade is approaching it’s centennial anniversary, considered to be the typical lifespan of terracotta façade units for buildings of this era. 


A thorough program of probes at strategic location pinpointing areas of greatest distress has been designed by Fuller and D’Agnelo along with their consultants.  Cutting away portions of the terra cotta from moving scaffolding platforms like a surgeon performing exploratory surgery, the team will get a precise view of the state of deterioration beneath the façade’s skin.  The probe process shall be completed by the end of the summer of 2006 after which time a report with design options shall be delivered to all parties.