Government facility receives modern upgrade

August 1, 2005
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Occupying 25 floors, and comprised of 1 million square feet of space, the Manhattan Municipal Building at One Center Street in New York City is considered one of the largest government buildings in the world. It was originally built in the early 1900s by the internationally renowned architectural firm, McKim, Mead and White, and this past year, Loring Consulting Engineers was brought on board to renovate and modernize the restrooms, which included the addition of Indian stone supplied by Hindustan Granites Inc. of Hauppauge, NY.

“The goal was to provide a modern and aesthetic appeal that resonates with the historical heritage of the Municipal Building,” said Arvind Devaraj of Hindustan Granites Inc.

Stone materials included Absolute Black, Sapphire Blue, Raw Silk Pink, Ruby Red and Imperial Gold granite from India as well as White Carrara marble from Italy. The materials were specified for vanities and saddles in restrooms throughout the building.

“The granite and marble selected for the bathroom renovation project provided the client with the rich look deserving of the Municipal Building, as well as the practicality of an extremely durable surface for easy maintenance,” said Devaraj. “The existing hallways have Danby White marble, and therefore, the granite and marble provided a very seamless continuity to the existing layout.” He added that all of the stones were polished with straight edge finishes.

Each vanity measures 13 feet long by 30 inches wide with backsplashes and sidesplashes, as well as aprons and undermount sinks, according to Devaraj.

“Since the building is located in the heart of the city between the Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall, the logistics involved in moving through security and traffic in bringing materials on time for the various phases was a constant struggle,” said Devaraj. “In this regard, [we] worked closely in tandem with fabricator and installer Anthony Nitty of A. Nitty Marble & Granite to overcome the logistical challenges.”

According to Arif Muhammad of ZHN Contracting Corp. of Brooklyn, NY, the general contractor for the project, the work entails a total of 70 restrooms, and construction is ongoing. He said that the crew size depends on the amount of restrooms being worked on at a given time, but generally there are about 10 to 15 people on the jobsite. “We really didn't have any problems with the job,” said Muhammad. “We got instructions from the architect, and followed the guidelines.”

Since the building was occupied at the start of construction in early 2004, the project was divided into seven phases for a smooth transition.

“The Manhattan Municipal Building project is a testimonial to the excellent cooperation by all the parties working closely with us - architect, fabricator and contractor,” said Babu Reddy, president of Hindustan Granites Inc. “This project further strengthens our growing roster of prestigious projects. The primary challenge that we were able to successfully overcome in this project was logistics and also ensuring that the natural stones blended with the current architectural requirements.”

According to Devaraj, the city has been extremely pleased with the finished project. “The earlier bathrooms had porcelain vanities with older fixtures - the city needed this renovation to provide a warm and inviting environment for its citizenry,” he said.

“From Hindustan's perspective, it is very heartening to be involved in a government project, especially the Municipal Building in New York City, where thousands of people will be benefited by the excellent renovation work undertaken using top-quality granite and marble,” Devaraj continued. “This opportunity allowed us to showcase our range of capabilities in supplying natural stones for a wide range of construction and renovation projects.”

End Box

Manhattan Municipal Building Renovation
One Center Street
New York, NY

Architect: Loring Consulting Engineers, New York, NY
Owner: New York Dept. of Construction and Administrative Services (NYDCAS)
General Contractor: ZHN Contracting Corp., Brooklyn, NY
Stone Supplier: Hindustan Granites Inc., Hauppauge, NY
Stone Fabricator/Installer: A. Nitty Marble & Granite, New York, NY

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