WS2 Conservation of Metal Finishes in Modern Architecture (1940-1970)

Two-Day Workshop

Full! Wait List Available
Friday, October 11, 8:00 - 5:30    
Saturday, October 12, 8:00 - 4:30

This workshop is sponsored by the APT Technical Committee on Modern Heritage.

Beginning after World War II, architects and builders began employing off-the-shelf metal products like aluminum and stainless steel as both structural and decorative elements in modern buildings.  In recent years, we have begun to see that many of these materials have reached the point where they are in need of conservation. 

This workshop will explore strategies for evaluating, conserving, repairing, maintaining and replacing building components and assemblies with factory- and field-applied metal finishes.  The goal of the workshop is to be able to make intelligent and informed determinations regarding when these finishes can be preserved and when they need to be altered or replaced during retrofits and repairs.

Using New York City’s extensive catalogue of relevant buildings as a “living laboratory,” the workshop will feature site visits to major buildings along with lectures and hands-on laboratory workshops.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand how finishes contribute to the aesthetic and functional role of metals in modern buildings (for example on windows, interior fixtures, curtain walls, etc). 
2. Identify how finishes are produced by fabricators. 
3. Learn diagnostic approaches to identifying finishes on modern architectural metals, including copper alloys, aluminum alloys, stainless steel alloys, and carbon steel/iron, and weathering steel alloys. 
4. Identify common condition issues on modern metal finishes and learn to discern the difference between a problem of the metal and a problem of the finish. 
5. Identify strategies for cleaning, re-integration, removal or replacement of each of these finishes, including theoretical discussions of when it is more appropriate to refinish than to conserve.
6. Introduction to the use of lasers for cleaning modern metal finishes.

: $575
Skill Level: Intermediate- mid-career professionals with interest in modern built heritage and material issues of preservation.
Fee Includes: Breakfast, lunch (on own but stipend provided), handouts, materials, transportation
Location: Columbia University (including continental breakfast upon arrival)
Transportation: Depart from Marriott Marquis via Subway
Dress Code: Casual with good walking shoes
Recommended Equipment: Notebook, camera, safety glasses
Maximum Attendance:25
Handicapped Accessibility: Contact APT for details
Continuing Education Credits: 13


  • Rosa Lowinger is president and chief conservator or RLA Conservation of Art + Architecture, a firm with offices in Miami and Los Angeles.  A 1982 graduate of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, she is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and the American Academy in Rome.

  • Kyle Normandin is a Senior Project Specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), in Los Angeles, CA, USA.  He serves as an Ex-officio board member of Association for Preservation Technology International and serves on APT’s Modern committee.  He has contributed numerous technical papers on architectural conservation of cultural heritage and continues to serve on the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Architectural Conservation.  Kyle currently serves as the Secretary General of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage.


  • Xsusha Flandro is a senior architectural conservator at Jablonski Building Conservation in New York City. She holds a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. At JBC Flandro has conducted large-scale conditions assessments, sampling, testing and analysis as well as development and implementation of conservation treatments for interior and exterior architectural materials. Xsusha is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works.

  • Adam Jenkins is Project Conservator at Materials Conservation Company, LLC, where he specializes in metals. Adam completed a three-year Mellon Fellowship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art where he researched lasers and their application to conservation and testing metalizing and corrosion inhibitors for metal objects. Adam received a 2002 MS in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program.  He is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

  • Thomas Jester, AIA, LEED AP, is a project manager and Associate at Quinn Evans Architects in Washington, DC.   He developed and edited Twentieth-Century Building Materials: History and Conservation, and served as co-chair of APT’s Technical Committee on Modern Heritage from 2007-2012.  Mr. Jester holds a B.A. in American Studies from Colby College, a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland.

  • P. Andrew Lins has been chairman and Senior Conservator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1997 and holds an M.A. and M.S. in Corrosion Science and Engineering.  He has taught at both the University of Pennsylvania graduate program in historic preservation and the Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program and is member of the Conservation Panel, City of Philadelphia, Department of Public Property, and the Liberty Bell, Independence National Historical Park.

  • Dr. Alan W. Pense, is a professor of engineering and materials science at Lehigh University. A specialist in physical and mechanical metallurgy, he researches and consults on the welding, joining and failure analysis of large structures. He is a fellow of the ASM International and the American Welding Society, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and co-author of Structure and Properties of Materials, 4th edition, among many publications.

  • Richard Pieper is Principal and Director of Preservation for Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc., an architecture, planning and historic preservation firm in New York City and professor of Architectural Metals, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.  Professor Pieper has a degree in geochemistry from Cornell University and in preservation from the Attingham School for the study of the English County House. He authored Tech Note: Repair of Metal Roof Cornices for the National Park Service and has written articles for the CRM Bulletin, the APT Bulletin, and Forum of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

  • Mark Rabinowitz is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works and the American Academy in Rome.  He is Executive Vice President of Conservation Solutions, Inc. a firm specializing in the assessment and treatment of a wide range of historic and artistic artifacts. He has extensive experience with architectural metals and has worked on objects as diverse as the Saturn V rockets, artifacts from the Titanic, Tiffany mosaics, and steel sculptures.

  • John Scott conducts heritage conservation contracting, consulting, and education from New York and Pennsylvania, USA. John helps design and lead applied conservation projects, and he provides practical research and materials and structural analyses and advice. John lectures, and leads conservation-oriented seminars and symposia through the New York Conservation Foundation, Eastern Analytical Symposium,  New-York Microscopical Society, and others. John entered conservation through education in multiple university graduate degrees, and through practical mechanical and museum experience. 

  • Joseph Sembrat is president of Conservation Solutions, Inc., a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and coordinator of AIC’s Architectural Specialty Group from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Sembrat holds a M.S. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. High-profile projects include the treatment of over 1,000 artifacts from the salvaged R.M.S. Titanic wreck-site, artifacts recovered from the R.M.S. Carpathia wreck-site, and two Saturn V rockets. 



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