Guastavino Tile Ceilings, Domes and Vaults
As part of our work inspecting and documenting historic buildings, Vertical
Access has been involved with several projects investigating original
Guastavino tile ceilings, vaults and domes. Notable buildings with Guastavino
tile surveyed by Vertical Access in New York City include Cram and Goodhue's St. Thomas
Church and Bertram Goodhue's St. Bartholomew's Church, St. Paul's Chapel at
Columbia University, the Battery Maritime Building and the Federal Reserve
Bank. Outside of New York City, Vertical Access has performed survey work on All Saints
Cathedral in Albany, NY, designed by Robert W. Gibson, and Cram, Goodhue and
Ferguson's Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy.
The Oyster Bar, New York, NY
Building on this project experience, Vertical Access employees have undertaken research into
Guastavino tile assemblies and presented their findings in a variety of venues.
Kent Diebolt, Vertical Access Founder and President, was the grant writer and
chair of the program planning committee for a one-day symposium entitled
"Preserving Historic Guastavino Tile Ceilings, Domes and Vaults" held at Columbia
University in February 1999. Kent oversaw the publication of the papers presented
in the symposium as well as the 24 United States patents held by the Rafael
Guastavino and his son, Rafael Jr. as a special issue of the APT Bulletin
(Volume XXX, No. 4, 1999). In December 2004, Kent gave a talk in Barcelona,
Spain on the preservation of Guastavino tile structures and will be returning
to Barcelona in December 2006 to continue this dialog.
St. Thomas Church, New York, NY
Kelly Streeter, a licensed structural engineer with VA, has undertaken a testing
and research program to evaluate the acoustic properties of Guastavino tiles and
the use of non-destructive evaluation of Guastavino tile as an assessment tool.
As part of this research, she has conducted two pilot studies to measure pulse
velocity and frequency responses at Guastavino vaults in New York City's St.
Thomas Church and Battery Maritime Building for the purposes of determining the
feasibility of using ultrasonic rrequency response for the evaluation of Guastavino
tile structures. Building on these pilot studies, Kelly's current research involves
the construction of full-scale mock-ups of Guastavino vaults for the investigation of
non-destructive evaluation techniques in a controlled environment.
Frequency plot analysis of Guastavino vaults
For more information see all Vertical Access projects
with Guastavino tile.