Second Dorothy Gets Ready To Ship To NYC

March 12, 2014 in #ConsiderTerraCotta, Dorothy by Boston Valley

As the first of our Dorothy sculptures is currently being installed, another one is on the floor at Boston Valley getting ready for shipping to NYC this week. Last summer we showed how Boston Valley employed 3D software to restore these 120-year old, 20-foot tall caryatids perched on a landmark building high above lower Manhattan. Read back for more:

architectural restoration, dorothy, landmark, NYC, boston valley terra cotta

The Fabrikator section of A|N Blog from The Architect’s Newspaper posted a nice article about Boston Valley’s Dorothy project on July 12, 2013, read it here.

She is ALSO the star of our Boston Valley short movie!:

Architect’s Newspaper’s Blog Features The Dorothy Project

July 12, 2013 in Dorothy by Boston Valley

The Fabrikator section of A|N Blog from The Architect’s Newspaper posted a nice article about Boston Valley’s Dorthy project.

Fallen Angels Rescued Parametrically

Fabrikator | Friday, July 12, 2013 | Emily Hooper

Read an excerpt below….

“When Old Structures Engineering engaged Boston Valley Terra Cotta in the restoration of the 1896 vintage Beaux-Arts building at 150 Nassau Street in New York—one of the city’s original steel frame structures—the four decorative angelic figures, or seraphs, that adorned the corners of the uppermost story were in serious decay. “Up close, they were in an appalling state,” said Andrew Evans, engineering project manager. “The biggest issue we had with the angels was understanding what happened with the originals.”

Click here to read the full article:

Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Boston Valley ARCH Design Lab developed digital models in Zbrush and Rhino. (Mitchell Bring/Boston Valley Terra Cotta)

Boston Valley Terra Cotta

Fabrication notes in the Boston Valley ARCH Design Lab (Mitchell Bring/Boston Valley Terra Cotta)

About the A|N Blog
The Architect’s Newspaper serves up news and inside reports to a niche community of architects, designers, engineers, landscape architects, lighting designers, interior designers, academics, developers, contractors, and other parties interested in the built urban environment. The Architect’s Newspaper delivers quality news and cultural reporting through print, web, blog, newsletter, or twitter—all the news you want, in all the ways you want to get it.

Click here to read the Fabrikator article:

“Boston Valley Terra Cotta: The Movie” Starring Dorothy. Coming soon.

June 5, 2013 in Dorothy by Boston Valley

Check out this short teaser from filmmaker Peter McGennis, who is working on a film about Boston Valley Terra Cotta and the amazing restoration work we are doing on Dorothy.

Dorothy Gets Ready For Her Starring Role

June 4, 2013 in Dorothy by Boston Valley

In an effort to document the unique work performed by Boston Valley Terra Cotta, filmmaker Peter McGennis traveled to New York City to capture one of the original “Dorothy” structures that is still in tact on the building located at 150 Nassau. As visible in the photos below the structure has been strapped back to prevent any pieces from coming loose prior to their removal and replacement with the new replicas manufactured by BVTC.

Dorothy Angel Restoration Project

Peter and his crew were treated to incredible views of the city, including the Woolworth Building, visible in this photo.

Dorothy Angel Restoration Project

The structures are 20 stories up, and therefore from the street the incredible detail in Dorothy’s face, hands, hair and folds of her dress are easily missed.

Partnership With UB Brings High-Tech Tools To Terra Cotta Firm

May 19, 2013 in Dorothy by Boston Valley

Boston Valley Terra Cotta has teamed with the University at Buffalo’s architecture department to modernize terra cotta

By Stephen Watson from The Buffalo News on May 19, 2013

The type of historic terra cotta restoration performed by artisans at Boston Valley Terra Cotta is painstaking, time-consuming craftsmanship, and the work has been done largely the same way for decades. Now, a team of students and faculty from the University at Buffalo is helping the Orchard Park company bring the techniques into the 21st century. Researchers in UB’s School of Architecture and Planning have introduced the designers and sculptors at Boston Valley to new, high-tech tools that are saving time and helping them work more efficiently.

“We’re extremely lucky to be close to this caliber of facility,” said John Krouse, Boston Valley’s president. “I think it would have been extremely difficult to do it without their help.”

Read Full Article in Our Collaborative Partners section

Restoring Fallen “Angels”

May 17, 2013 in Dorothy by Boston Valley

150 Nassau St, NYC

Over the years she had gone to pieces, and needed to be attached with metal bands.

They had seen better days. The four 20-foot tall caryatids, had been perched on a landmark building 20 stories above lower Manhattan for 120 years. Collectively nick-named “Dorothy”, years of neglect and abrasive cleaning had left them, well, hazardous.

Modeled by Spanish immigrant, Fernando Miranda in 1895, they were created to grace the penthouse of architect Robert H. Robertson’s American Tract Society Building, one of the first steel framed skyscrapers in the city.

Boston Valley Terra Cotta was retained to give them the ultimate extreme makeover i.e. completely new bodies, heads and wings.

Using Hollywood style technology, the Boston Valley ARCH Design Lab built a complete digital stand-in created from some 500 photos taken before she was demount-ed from the building. Each sculpture was  gently torn apart into 54 separate pieces and shipped to Buffalo in wooden crates.

Once at Boston Valley, These parts were re-scanned and matched against the original digital site model. The finished digital model was used to prepare laser cut wooden profiles and armature pieces, so she could be rebuilt as a single assembly, instead of individual pieces on individual sculptors tables.

Once the master model was complete, molds were made to account for each of the different  four corner mounting conditions. (the structure was out of square).

The first Dorothy is scheduled for re-installation July 2013. Watch this space for updates. If you are in the area be sure to say hi. You might also notice the new sculptural residential tower nearby, created by that youngster Frank Gehry.

Digital Dorothy

Digital model made from site photos.

Dorothy Digital

Things look different in Buffalo

Master sculptor, Mike Fritz, covers the laser cut wooden armature with clay. Dorothy's white profiled face is above Mike's head as she lies down for the first time in 120 years.

Master sculptor, Mike Fritz, covers the laser cut wooden armature with clay. Dorothy’s white profiled face is above Mike’s head as she lies down for the first time in 120 years.

Ready to return to the big city.

Ready to return to the big city.