SOM Reveals Restoration Plans for the Historic Lever House at 390 Park Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan

Existing ground floor conditions at Lever House - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)Existing ground floor conditions at Lever House - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is now reviewing proposals from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to renovate and restore the historic Lever House at 390 Park Avenue in Midtown East, Manhattan. Scope of work for the proposed alterations includes replacement of non-original plaza paving and bases, the installation of new signage and stainless steel doors, a new entrance into the Casa Lever restaurant on the ground floor, and the replacement of aluminum panelling and glass storefronts at the ground floor. The design team will also restore exterior stone, metal, and ceiling materials around the property.

Previous renovations include the replacement of paving stones on front plaza in 1985 and a major curtain wall and façade replacement completed in 2001.

Rendering of new ground floor conditions at Lever House - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Rendering of new ground floor conditions at Lever House – Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Rendering of new wall openings in black limestone at the lever House ground floor - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Rendering of new wall openings in black limestone at the lever House ground floor – Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Existing condition of pavers near the ground floor entrance at Lever House - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Existing condition of pavers near the ground floor entrance at Lever House – Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Existing condition of pavers near the ground floor entrance at Lever House - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Existing condition of pavers near the ground floor entrance at Lever House – Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

The building was originally designed by late architects Gordon Bunshaft and Natalie de Blois, who were both prominent partners at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill beginning in the late 1930s. The building opened in 1952 and is considered to be one of the most influential examples of International Style architecture. In 1982, the building was designated a New York City Landmark and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

As of 2019, the building is owned and operated by Waterman Clark and Brookfield Properties. Additional members of the project team include preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth & Partners and multidisciplinary conservation consultant Integrated Conservation Resources, Inc. and Integrated Conservation Contracting, Inc, commonly referred to as ICR and ICC.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission has not yet issued commentary on proposed changes to the property.

Rendering of proposed alteration to the Lever House terrace - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Rendering of proposed alteration to the Lever House terrace – Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Rendering of proposed alteration to the Lever House terrace - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Rendering of proposed alteration to the Lever House terrace – Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Existing conditions of third floor terrace at Lever House - Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Existing conditions of third floor terrace at Lever House – Courtesy of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

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6 Comments on "SOM Reveals Restoration Plans for the Historic Lever House at 390 Park Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan"

  1. For once, I actually think these improvements are seriously and nesscarly needed. This looks pretty good.

  2. David in Bushwick | July 20, 2021 at 10:59 am | Reply

    Lever House is a masterpiece – probably the best modernist building in NYC.

  3. Landmark Schmandmark. The only improvement is to year it down for an art deco supertall.

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