Oyster Bar, NYC, Boston Valley Terra Cotta

NYC’s 10 Most Impressive Terra Cotta Buildings Include Five Projects by Boston Valley Terra Cotta

On October 24th, Boston Valley CEO, John Krouse will be honored at the Historic Districts Council’s annual Landmarks Lion Award ceremony celebrating the preservation of architectural terra cotta in NYC

TITLE: 10 of NYC’s Most Impressive Terra-cotta Buildings
SOURCE: 6sqft
DATE: October 4, 2018
BY: Lucie Levine
Read the original article online: 6sqft

On October 24th, the Historic Districts Council (HDC) will present its annual Landmarks Lion Award to Boston Valley Terra Cotta, along with the organization Friends of Terra Cotta and Gladding McBean. The HDC is an organization that advocates for all of New York City’s historic neighborhoods. Their mission is to ensure the preservation of significant historic neighborhoods, buildings and public spaces in New York City, uphold the integrity of New York City’s Landmarks Law, and further the preservation ethic.

Boston Valley CEO, John Krouse will speak at this event which will honor his company.

According to the HDC, Boston Valley, along with the other two honorees, has “worked to help preserve or protect nearly every piece of architectural terra cotta around NYC – from the Guastavino ceiling of the Oyster Bar to the terra cotta of the iconic Woolworth building.”

Coinciding with the event, an article by 6sqft highlights HDC’s selections of 10 of NYC’s Most Impressive Terra-cotta Buildings in the city. A remarkable half of the buildings featured on this list are projects that use terra cotta manufactured by Boston Valley. They are highlighted below with excerpts from the article. Click here to read the full article.

The Woolworth Building

Cass Gilbert’s 1913 neo-Gothic masterpiece, restored by Boston Valley Terra Cotta in 2015, set an architectural standard for 17 years as the tallest building in the world and is still the world’s tallest terra-cotta structure. Click here for blog posts about this project.

The Grand Central Oyster Bar

The bar’s vaulted ceiling glistens with Guastavino Tile, a system of interlocking terra-cotta tiles that create graceful self-supporting arches. The tiles, famously fire-resistant, were virtually the only part of the restaurant that did not burn when a fire swept through the bar in 1997. During the conflagration, thousands of tiles fell to the floor. It took nearly six months to match replacement tiles to the originals, and close to a full year before the striking ceiling was fully restored. Click here for photos.

Child’s Restaurant, Coney Island, Brooklyn NY

Childs Restaurant, Seaside Park and Community Arts Center / Ford Amphitheater

In 2002, the former Childs Building came before the Landmarks Commission, and advocates from Friends of Terra Cotta, the Municipal Art Society, the Landmarks Conservancy, and the Historic Districts Council all advocated for its designation. In 2017, the building’s whimsical, technicolor terra-cotta received a loving restoration with sculptural units replicated and hand glazed by Boston Valley Terra-Cotta. Click here for photos.

Alwyn Court

Working in stone would have made such elaborate detail prohibitively expensive, but terra-cotta lent itself to sumptuous decoration as cast clay could be molded, and each mold could be used repeatedly for multiple reproductions of this historic structure. Indeed, architects Harde and Short were able to complete the building for under $1 million. Click here for more information.


New York City Center, terra cotta restoration, boston valley terra cotta

New York City Center’s terra cotta detail.

New York City Center

The building’s remarkable mosaic dome is a masterpiece of terra cotta. The dome is as functional as it is beautiful: it houses an integral part of the building’s ventilation system, an 8-foot wide exhaust fan, which was indispensable when the building opened since smoking was permitted in the auditorium. Click here for photos.


The Historic Districts Council’s annual Landmarks Lion Award is on October 24th, 2018. The ceremony will take place at Grand Central’s Oyster Bar, under the magnificent Guastavino terra-cotta ceiling tiles produced by Boston Valley.

Click here for more information on the event.

Tickets to the event can be purchased online.