Skyline's restoration project at The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, at 520 Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn, NY receives two prestigious awards
IMAGE: ALI MARCONI
Skyline Restoration’s exemplary restoration of the façade of a landmark building met all challenges, surpassed all goals, and garnered the preservation industry’s highest honors: The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Lucy G. Moses Award and the Preservation League of New York State’s Excellence in Preservation Award.
Restoration and preservation projects do far more than bring buildings back to their prime for current and future generations to enjoy: they preserve a piece a history, they strengthen the surrounding neighborhood and community, they renew and revive a shared cultural heritage. When an historic structure is restored, it becomes once again a thing of beauty offering those who inhabit it a sense of pride, gifting those who visit it with admiration and wonder. It lifts spirits by reaffirming a belief that the past is something to be treasured, never neglected, or forgotten.
The Lucy G. Moses Awards from the New York Landmarks Conservancy are considered the Oscars of preservation. They are the Conservancy’s highest honor recognizing leaders, architects, craftspeople, and building owners.
The Excellence in Preservation Awards from the Preservation League of New York State are the League’s highest accolade, recognizing outstanding work in the field for almost 40 years. The awards allow the League to “shine a light on the people who are using historic preservation to make all of our lives better.”
To receive either honor is a capstone achievement, a testament that the awardee exemplifies the highest distinction in the field. To receive both is remarkable.
Skyline Restoration crews place the new cross on the historic Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Brooklyn, NY. (IMAGE: ALI MARCONI)
Skyline Restoration received the Preservation League’s Excellence in Preservation Award on November 7, 2022, in a virtual ceremony for the restoration of the façade of The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew at 520 Clinton Avenue, an avenue known as “the crown jewel of Clinton Hill” replete with historic buildings in north-Central Brooklyn.
On April 19, 2023, at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan, the New York Landmarks Conservancy will grant Skyline Restoration its fourth Lucy G. Moses Award. It will also be the first time Skyline receives the honor for two consecutive years (Skyline was honored for its work on One Wall Street last year).
The façade restoration of the landmark Italian Romanesque Revival style church designed by John Welch and built in 1888 -1891 was made possible through New York City’s 74-711 Special Permit process which created a means to help the Episcopal Diocese fund the repairs.
The five-year restoration process encountered seemingly insurmountable challenges throughout that threatened to derail all. The brownstones were found to be in far worse shape than anticipated. Almost two-thirds, 466 stones, were in the most deteriorated category. The global Covid-19 pandemic created material shortages and a year-long delay. The sheer tenacity, determination, knowledge, and resourceful ingenuity of the Skyline team under Vice President Jasen Geraghty and Project Manager Wilson Cajilima with the aid of Petrillo Stone working in close collaboration with Li/Saltzman Architects (LSA) met each hurdle and found a pathway to success at every juncture.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with the entire team involved with this project. It has been extremely satisfying to watch a complete transformation of this iconic structure from its worn condition to the gem it looks like today. We appreciate the level of commitment from the design team, field personnel, and church staff to restore this building into a highlight of this great neighborhood in Brooklyn.”
— Jasen Geraghty, Vice President, Skyline Restoration
Last fall, Frank Sanchis, chair of the Preservation League’s Board of Trustees, said at the online event that the preservation has enabled parishioners to once again worship and enjoy the magnificence of the church with confidence that the structure will endure: “That’s the burden that has been lifted.”
The League’s website quotes Reverend Andrew Durbridge, Rector of St. Luke and St. Matthew, who praised the legacy of past parishioners “in caring for this landmark in Clinton Hill to benefit future parishioners and the local community.”
This is surely a story of triumph that inspires admiration, applause, and awe.