St. Luke’s Historic Pavilions In Harlem Receive Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award

March 29, 2023

The New York Landmarks Conservancy has announced the winners of the 2023 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards.  

St. Luke’s Historic Pavilions, located at 30 Morningside Drive in Harlem, is among the projects that will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony on April 19th, 2023, at 6:00 pm at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan.

Abandoned for decades, the stunning pre-war St. Luke’s Hospital Pavilions have been preserved and transformed into a high-end residential complex.  This comprehensive restoration strategy required an owner, Delshah Capital, with a committed vision, a dedicated project team, and a financial plan that utilized preservation tax credits.  This project demonstrates how traditional materials and new innovations can work together, ensuring that historic buildings can evolve and continue to make valuable contributions to the City.

The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards are the Conservancy’s highest honors for excellence in preservation.  The Awards recognize individuals, organizations, and building owners for their extraordinary contributions to the City.  The Conservancy is grateful for the support of the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, which makes the Awards possible.

“The Lucys are always a joyous celebration of excellent preservation projects and people.  It is always wonderful to see the range of great work throughout the City,” said Peg Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy.

St. Luke’s Historic Pavilions

Designed by renowned architect Ernest Flagg and built in 1897-1928, the St. Luke’s Hospital complex occupies a block front on Morningside Park. It consists of four mid-rise pavilions and a carriage house that exemplify turn-of-the-century French Renaissance Revival style with classical lines and bravura flourishes.

The pavilions have similar and complementary architectural features, such as brick and granite facades with marble and limestone ornamentation, wrought iron railings, slate roofs and copper mansards, dormers, and window surrounds. 

Guided by preservation principles, the removal and replacement of the building components was reduced to a minimum by strengthening the original assembly and in-situ repair techniques to retain the existing fabric.  All of St. Luke’s original finishes, limestone façade, ornate copper window surrounds, cornices, belt courses, wrought iron ornamentals, and verdigris have been meticulously conserved and restored to their Gilded Age grandeur.

The scope of work from engineers Thornton Tomasetti and architects Cetra Ruddy called for extensive upgrades and retrofits to adapt these institutional buildings into apartments.  For example, areas of erosion and scaling at limestone ornament and sugaring at the marble ornament were re-surfaced with diamond abrasive pads. 

Protective waterproofing was installed to prevent moisture penetration that had triggered the erosion.  At the roof, innovative insulating materials were used to reduce added height, maintaining sightlines and the original character of the roofs.  At the cornices, marble pieces were retained alongside a new lightweight glass fiber-reinforced concrete system.

This project also reimagined unique elements of the hospital.  The carriage house at the center of the courtyard has become a lounge for residents. Deteriorated passageways that connected the pavilions were replaced with new glass connectors integrating all five structures.  Balconies that were originally for recovering patients had long been shrouded in mesh.  Now they are major amenities. 

New York Landmarks Conservancy

The 2023 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Project Award recipients include: 1065 Clay Avenue; 131 Duane Street; 69th Regiment Armory; Asia Art Archive in America; Castle Clinton National Monument; Church of Saint Mary the Virgin; The Church of St. Luke & St. Matthew; Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park; New York State Pavilion; Pier 57; Roosevelt Island Lighthouse and St. Luke’s Historic Pavilions.

Laurie Beckelman, former Chair, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, will receive the 2023 Public Leadership in Preservation Award.  John J. (Jack) Kerr, Jr., attorney, will receive the Preservation Leadership Award in honor of his role in preservation’s most significant legal decisions, and for his work with many nonprofit organizations, including the Conservancy, where he served as Board Chair.

The New York Landmarks Conservancy, a private non-profit organization, has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for 50 years.  Since its founding, the Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $60 million, which has leveraged more than $900 million in more than 1,300 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs. 

The Conservancy has also offered countless hours of pro bono technical advice to building owners, both nonprofit organizations and individuals.  The Conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings across the City and State, protecting New York’s distinctive architectural heritage for residents and visitors alike today, and for future generations.  For more information, please visit

Photo credit: St. Luke’s Historic Pavilions Receive Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award. By Alex Severin.

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