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Roosevelt Island, New York, NY


The design team was faced with  the dual task of designing the exterior to comply with State and Local preservation standards, and its interior to comply with the extraordinary safety and code requirements for the high-voltage electrical equipment, components  typically found in contemporary heavily reinforced bunker-type construction. The building was also retro-fitted to meet seismic structural criteria.

This project received a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the Landmarks Conservancy for its "miraculous preservation effort."

LocationRoosevelt Island, New York

Client: NYCT-MTA

Owner: Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation

Prime Engineering Consultant: POWER Engineers (formerly Burns and Roe Enterprises, Inc.), Oradell, NJ

Contractor: Mega Construction

Completion Date: 2002

This fieldstone and brick building, designed by Frederick Clarke Withers and Walter Dickson in the Romanesque Revival style, was built in 1892 by the Charity [City] Hospital to conduct pathological and bacteriological work, the first institution in the counrty to do so. In 1907, the Russell Sage Institute of Pathology took over the administration of the lab but the institute left the lab in the 1950s. In 1958 it was decommissioned and vacated, and fell into disrepair. In 1990 the NYCTA initiated its conversion into a substation. Thanks to many private archives, early photographs of the building were provided by Judy Berdy of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society. In 1972, Strecker Laboratory was entered on the National Register of Historic Places, and was listed as an individually designated landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1976. 

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