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To re-establish the Tavern on the Green structure as a true public amenity, restoring the building to its original size and allowing patrons to dine under the sky while sitting in the green.
Recognized as one of NYC's premier landmark restaurants, the Tavern on the Green's 1871 building was originally constructed in 1871 as a sheepfold and was converted to a restaurant in 1934. The building went through numerous inappropriate renovations and additions, tripling the restaurant's area and concealing its historic character. Following the restaurant's closing, the NYC DDC commissioned Swanke to perform a conditions assessment and rehabilitation of the building envelope and infrastructure for a subsequent interior fit-out by a new restaurant concessionaire. The team determined the smallest footprint required to maintain a financially-viable restaurant. Based upon the deterioration, it was more cost-effective to remove the non-contributing additions rather than rehabilitate. The building was reduced from 31,000 sf to 14,436 sf. Using materials closely matching the originals, the team restored or replicated original building components that were deteriorated or removed from the original structure. Due to structural and programmatic considerations, the 1934 footprint couldn't be restored. However, the team cut back the truncated wings to reconstruct two missing historic dormers and create a new glass pavilion, sympathetic to the historic building. The building will obtain LEED Silver.
The project has reinvented a restaurant that is now accessible to all New Yorkers and visitors, respectful of the history of the building and will return it to its iconic status as the 'Jewel of Central Park.'