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Recreating Historical Design - Tavern on the Green

Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, New York City

Project Name

Recreating Historical Design - Tavern on the Green

Project Status


Year Completed



NYC Department of Design & Construction, Central Park Conservancy, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

Certifications and Designations

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Project Description

New York City's Tavern on the Green in Central Park is one of the city's most recognized restaurants. The Victorian Gothic structure underwent a number of alterations over the years. In 1934, it was converted into a restaurant, and over the next seven decades, the building saw continuous expansion. From 1934 to when the restaurant closed in 2009, the original 8,000-square-foot building grew to approximately 31,000 square feet.

In 2011, in an attempt to re-establish Tavern on the Green, the city retained Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, to restore the building. The 12,000-square-foot restoration focused on rebuilding the facility as a restaurant, serving the needs of park visitors and neighborhood residents. Working with a food services consultant, Swanke determined that by reducing the building's footprint, the restaurant could be viable and economically successful. By removing years of inappropriate additions and restoring the building footprint back to its original conception, Swanke was able to reduce the building's footprint by more than 50 percent.

Keeping the original ornamental sheet metal details the same was key to the project. Wherever possible, historic drawings and photographs were used as the basis of design. The building’s original curved louvers were shipped to the CopperCraft by Fabral plant in Grapevine, TX where they were used as templates for the team to recreate. “CopperCraft by Fabral was chosen for their expertise and helped tremendously with the project”, explained Ray Ayerbe, President of Tri-State Metals in Elmsford, NY. The engineering team at CopperCraft by Fabral offered support by providing calculations for project needs such as clip spacing and wind uplift. Coppercraft by Fabral also fabricated the copper cupola and supplied the 16-oz cold-rolled copper gutter for the built-in gutters, along with 20-ounce cold-rolled copper for the flashings, ridge caps, standing seam roof, louvers and ventilators.
Since the lead-coated copper cupola and underlying wood framing was too deteriorated to restore, Hudson Valley Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., New Windsor, N.Y., and Tri-State Metals prepared an accurate replication that required 160 hours in the shop and 60 hours of field fabrication. Hudson Valley and Tri-State also replicated the radius standing seam roof and ventilator at the restored 1947 north bar addition. Tri-State Metals fabricated the lead-coated copper, refurbished the large steel finial by straightening it out, sandblasting and giving it a new black powder-coated finish. The project also features 1,220 snow guards from Berger Building Products, Feasterville, Pa.

The famous restaurant is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Owners: NYC Department of Design & Construction, Long Island City, N.Y.; Central Park Conservancy, New York City; and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, New York City
Architect: Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, New York City
General contractor: Atlas Restoration Corp., Astoria, N.Y.
Roofing contractor: Hudson Valley Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., New Windsor, N.Y.
Metal fabricator/distributor: Tri-State Metals LLC, Elmsford, N.Y.
Copper: Fabral, Lancaster, Pa.
Red copper cupola/louvers: Copper Craft by Fabral, Grapevine, Texas,
Snow guards: Berger Building Products, Feasterville, Pa.,
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