Floyd Bennet Field  

The large historic Floyd Bennet Field (FBF) property is owned and operated by the National Park Service (NPS). Built in 1928, the airfield has been a great asset on both a national and local level. Starting out as New York City’s first municipal airport and later becoming a naval air station for the military. FBF was also the starting and ending point for the famous circumnavigation flight of the globe completed by Howard Hughes, as depicted in the 2004 film, “The Aviator”.

The 2 hangars near Flatbush Avenue had been vacant for decades. With the roof half gone and the elements constantly challenging the structure for so long, the buildings were long overdue for a restoration.  The new tenant, the Williams Gas Co., opted to restore the building under the guidance of the NPS as an adaptive re-use. All of the original elements would be restored to their former glory.

The 3 large buildings were home to over 200 large steel windows and massive hangar doors. Each window and door was glazed using historic textured glass with an embedded chicken wire pattern. This glass is no longer commercially available. All of the replacement glass was custom fabricated to match the original.

The large amount of water infiltration into the building, along with the salt rich sea air degraded the steel windows at an exponential rate. Each window completed a laundry list of repairs including multiple Dutchmen and epoxy repairs to regain the original window profiles. In some of the worst cases ~60% of some windows needed to be replaced with new members.

Each piece of glass was set into the restored sash using a decorative hand-tooled silicone glazing detail that simulates the presence of a 45* mechanical glazing stop. Multiple pieces of historic hardware were recast out of solid bronze to replicate the originals. All of the ferrous window members and frames were coated with a custom color Tnemec paint system prior to the reinstallation.

The before and after photos of the project are truly stunning.


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Femenella & Associates · 10 County Line Road, Suite 24 · Branchburg, NJ 08876 · Tel: (908) 722-6526