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Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc.

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Conditions Surveying

Governors Island: Stabilization Report

Governors Island NY, 2012




Governors Island, so named because it accommodated the English Governors of New York in the late 1600s after they took control of the colony, has served many purposes throughout its long history. Originally settled by the Dutch, the island has acted as a pasture, timberland, game preserve, summer resort, garrison, arsenal, prison, and airfield. Home to the U.S. Army from 1821 to 1966, the island was last occupied by the U.S. Coast Guard from 1966 until their departure in 1997, at which time they left behind some 100 buildings constructed between the early 19th century and the 1980s.

JHPA was hired to prepare a Historic Building Stabilization Report to aid the Trust for Governors Island in their effort to “mothball” selected buildings on the north side of the island until their future use could be determined. Forty-one buildings within the Governors Island Historic District were surveyed in preparation for long-term ‘stabilization,’ which included the evaluation of the existing interior conditions of the buildings, particularly those related to roof or drainage deficiencies. The objective was to design systems that would provide proper ventilation to the interiors of the buildings while they sat unused. JHPA prepared a set of typical ventilation designs and recommendations for the installation of venting in each building based upon building type, window type, typical conditions, etc. Construction began in July 2012.