Located on the east side of Midtown in New York City, 5 Tudor City Place is a historic building undergoing restoration at Boston Valley Terra Cotta. In the factory, repairs to broken masonry and sculptural elements are currently being made. The scope of the renovations included a pre-design site survey where blocks needing repair were marked for restoration. If possible, original masonry is brought to Boston Valley to be used as reference for duplication.
Also known as Windsor Tower, the structure is a part of the Tudor City apartment complex, a group of apartment buildings on a raised platform adjacent to the United Nations and the East River. Tudor City was built in 1927 by real estate developer Fred F French to bring people of the upper middle class back to Manhattan. The complex was French’s vision of urban utopia with sprawling gardens and green space for residents, they are known as the first residential skyscrapers in the world. Through the 9 buildings in Tudor City, there are over 3,000 apartments and 600 hotel rooms, the posh styles of the residences attracted many with a variety of living spaces. Although the building is known as “Tudor”, a notable period of time in English history and a popular style of architecture, the building is a combination of various architectural styles referencing English and Neo-Gothic motifs. In 1988 Tudor City was declared a historic district of New York City by the Landmark Preservation Commission.
The façade is comprised of red brick, white terra cotta, limestone and sandstone detailing. Sculptural detailing on the exterior of Windsor Tower has been designated for replication. Several terra cotta gargoyles have been reproduced in order to bring the facade of 5 Tudor Place to its original state. Larger, goat-like figures are assembled in multiple pieces to match the construction of original sculptures. Since these blocks contain more detail, they are fabricated using the Hand Press forming method. Clay is pushed into a plaster mold by hand and fine details are brought out even further in the finishing department.