The first building on Columbia’s new Morningside Campus when it was built in 1895, rising out of crop fields, Low Library was designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, which was responsible for the design of much of Columbia’s Morningside Heights Campus. The library is a neo-classical style design in the shape of a Greek Cross and features windows modeled on those of the Baths of Diocletian.
Allen Metals was responsible for the complete restoration of 2 of the monumental cast iron windows. These massive Palladian Style windows are 44’ wide x 18’ tall. Allen was responsible for the removal, repair, re-furbishment, installation and finishing of these functioning cast iron windows. The labor-intensive removal of the historic material was documented and brought back to the company’s home office for the cataloging and the creation of master patterns to reproduce the components of the windows. After the completion of patterns, castings were produced and the entire assembly was erected in the shop for retro-fitting then dismantled for shipping. The restoration of these massive windows took about 16 months of labor from start to finish. Today the windows are still functioning as they were originally designed to operate in 1895 with as much beauty and architectural significance as intended for this Landmark building.
Robert Stilman Associates, NYC & Helpern Architects