New York Tech School of Architecture and Design students in front of NYIT de Seversky Mansion


Future Architects Witness Historic Restoration

May 17, 2024

Two School of Architecture and Design Building Construction II classes met with structural engineering company Thornton Tomasetti and historic preservation contractor Nicholson and Galloway to learn about work being done to restore NYIT de Seversky Mansion.

Construction sounds buzzed at NYIT de Seversky Mansion as two School of Architecture and Design Building Construction II classes had the unique opportunity to observe ongoing work to rebuild and restore portions of the historic building. The on-site visit provided a remarkable learning experience for students to discover the intricacies of historic preservation as well as gain exposure to career prospects they may not have otherwise considered.

The famed Gold Coast mansion, designed by architect Thomas Hastings and completed in 1918, is undergoing extensive repairs. Currently in its first phase of restoration—to be completed in June—the mansion will undergo further phases over the next three to five years. Capital Planning and FacilitiesMarissa Marzullo (B.Arch. ’18), project manager for design and construction, and Nick Haralambidis (B.S. ’96), director of sustainable capital planning, have enlisted structural engineering company Thornton Tomasetti and historic preservation contractor Nicholson and Galloway to tackle the job.

Assistant Professor of Architecture Andreas Theodoridis, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of Architecture Clarke Snell, M.Arch., teamed up to expose their undergraduate classes to the comprehensive work, including a Zoom call to introduce students to Charles Van Winckle (B.Arch. ’07), vice president of Thornton Tomasetti, and Van Hemsley (B.S. ’10), senior project manager for Nicholson and Galloway.

Following the virtual meeting, students met in person with Van Winkle and Hemsley as the pair hosted the on-site visit and spoke in detail with students about their storied careers in architecture and the mansion repair project. They also fielded questions about students’ career prospects and what is involved in historic preservation and restoration work. 


Students observing historic preservation work in-person.

“By necessity, architecture students spend most of their time drawing, modeling, and talking about things they imagine will never be built—that’s why getting them into the field to see real projects is so important,” says Snell. “In this site visit, two New York Tech architecture alumni not only took current students into the nuts and bolts of a professional project but introduced them to an interesting career path they probably did not know existed.”

As identified by Thornton Thomasetti, construction work for Nicholson and Galloway includes restoration to the façade, including the pediment (triangular arch) and a tilted marble column, brick supports and structural steel repairs, and removal and replacement of masonry and marble in and around the portico (porch), steps, and elliptical loggia (outdoor corridor). Extensive cleaning of the marble and masonry will also be performed under this project.

“This visit was able to teach us beyond what we learn in the classroom, and it was cool to see architecture work being done in real time. It’s nice to be shown the versatility of being an architecture major,” says Giovanni Calo, an architectural technology student who visited the site as part of Theodoridis’ class. “I hope we have more of these types of field trips and on-site visits in the future.”