It’s not just a façade! The façade of our J. Pierpont Morgan Library building uses a complex ancient Greek building technique that enables the stone to have no visible mortar. The architects, McKim, Mead & White, adapted this technique to account for the variable climate in New York city. In this video, Jennifer Schork, Senior Conservator of Integrated Conservation Resources, describes this complex system with a diagram of the building blocks.
With only 1/64” of space between the front of the custom blocks of Tennessee marble, from afar, our façade appears to be a sheer wall of stone. Behind the façade, the blocks of stone have a small trough for mortar to secure the building together. The precise construction techniques and design have held the building in remarkable condition throughout the years.
Lead sponsorship provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, Inc., Sherman Fairchild Foundation, Inc., @morgan.stanley, Katharine J. Rayner, Mrs. Oscar de la Renta, The Thompson Family Foundation, Inc., and public funds from the City of New York through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, with support from Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and Council Member Keith Powers.