New York City


Eclectic and eccentric, with influences that range from Islamic to Celtic to Japanese, the Veteran’s Room at the Park Avenue Armory was reopened to the public in March as an intimate space for lectures and recitals. A thorough overhaul of the timeworn, and previously poorly altered, room was overseen by Herzog & de Mueron, designers of the ongoing restoration of this enormous historic building that once housed New York’s elite Seventh Regiment.

Intricately carved wood screens, hammered copper accents, brilliant blue mosaics: these are a few of the many ornaments that harmonically blend with unusual found objects—iron chains wound around Doric columns, for instance—in this early work by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It is one of the few extant interiors of the American Aesthetic Movement.

Tiffany began the project in 1879 with Associated Artists, a newly formed and shortlived collective that included a young Stanford White. “It’s a fantasy room,” says Armory president Rebecca Robertson. “But it was like a stage set, the whole thing practically held together with three nails.”

Though Herzog & de Meuron is known for its inventive designs, restoration work is an important aspect of the firm’s portfolio, from its first project at the Tate Modern in London to the recent Musée Unterlinden. “We’ve always been interested in palimpsests—in different layers, depth, texture, and how materials age,” says senior partner Ascan Mergenthaler. “On the level of sophistication of decoration, the rooms at the Armory are top-notch.” 

In addition to upgrading mechanical systems and acoustics, Herzog & de Meuron created new wallpaper using modern and original techniques to mirror the intent, color balance, and process employed by Tiffany with painter Samuel Colman and textile designer Candace Wheeler. According to Mergenthaler, “First we had to clearly understand how they did it, then decide which of the steps they took were logical for us, and how to give it a contemporary take.”

To achieve the effect of the original gas lighting, thick glass—a favorite material of Tiffany’s applied in many ways throughout this interior—works in combination with LEDs. “You can’t reproduce a flame, but you can try to bring back its material quality,” says Mergenthaler. “This room had a lot of radical ideas. It was completely crazy, yet, as a whole, it all made sense.” And now, with the landmark restored to its former glory, it makes even more sense.



Herzog & de Meuron
Rheinschanze 6
4056 Basel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 385 5757 Fax: +41 61 385 5758


Personnel in firm who should receive special credit:

Design Consultant for Restoration:

Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland

Jacques Herzog, Senior Partner

Pierre de Meuron, Senior Partner

Ascan Mergenthaler, Senior Partner

Charles Stone, Associate

Marija Bdarski, Project Designer 


Personnel in firm who should receive special credit:

Charles A. Platt, Partner in Charge

Samuel G. White, Partner

Ray Dovell, Partner

James D. Seger, Partner

Scott Duenow, Partner

Debora Barros, Architect


Platt Byard Dovell White Architects, LLP
49 West 37th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 212-691-2440


Original Project Team:

Louis C. Tiffany, Associated Artists, Interior Design and Decoration Louis Comfort Tiffany, Chief Designer & Glass Design
Samuel Colman, Color and Oriental Designs
Candace Wheeler, Textiles

Stanford White, Architect

George Yewell, Painter of Frieze

Francis Millet, Painter of Frieze



Structural Engineering: Robert Silman Associates



Environmental Consultant: Steven Winter Associates

Theatrical Consultants: Fisher Dachs Associates

Lighting Engineer: Fisher Marantz Stone Lighting

Sound Engineering: Akustics

Building Graphics: CoDe. New York Inc.


Armory Project:

Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer Management:

Lissa Frenkel, Managing Director

Kirsten Reoch, Director of Design and Construction


General contractor:

Tishman Construction Corporation


Restoration and Artisan Team:

R. Mark Adams, woodwork restoration

Foreground Conservation and Decorative Arts, paint restoration

EverGreene Architectural Arts, wallpaper and plaster restoration

Aurora Lampworks Inc., Lighting restoration

Femenella & Associates, stained glass restoration and windows

McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation, metals restoration

Rosa Lowinger & Associates, mosaic restoration

Integrated Conservation Resources, tile and stone restoration

Haywood Berk Floor Company, Inc., floor restoration

Atelier de France, upholstery

Eric Bruce, Inc., curtains






Glass: New glazing in historic sashes: Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, by Femenella & Associates

Sound control windows by Soundproof Windows, Inc. and installed by Femenella & Associates



Sliding doors: Original 1880 White Oak restored by R. Mark Adams



Pulls: Original 1880 Yale & Towne Company brass hardware restored by R. Mark Adams


Interior Finishes

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:

Quarter sawn American white oak (quercus alba) from 1880 restored by R. Mark Adams

Paints and stains:

Ceiling is a combination of original 1880 oil based paints on plaster and redwood as well as new paints by RONAN superfine-japan-colors and GOLDENS paint custom mixed with mica powder. All ceiling paint conservation and restoration by Foreground Conservation and Decorative Arts

Wall coverings:

Frieze: 1880 metallic leaf and oil paint on jute and stretched over a wood strainer restored by Foreground Conservation and Decorative Arts


Wallpaper fabricated and installed by Evergreene Architectural Arts, Inc. using the following materials:

Manufacturer of paper:

Ahlstrom Nonwovens LLC Manufacturers of background paints (mix of): Golden Paints, Inc.
Benjamin Moore

RoscoManufacturers of metallic paints/glazes (mix of):

Modern MastersSchmincke

Installation Primer and Adhesive:



Quarter sawn American white oak (quercus alba) from 1880. Original finish is a long oil varnish. Conservators with R. Mark Adams applied a thin coat of acryloid B-72 followed by a thinly applied shellac layer.


1880 oak and mahogany floor in chevron pattern with central parquet section in reclaimed oak (furnished and installed by Haywood Berk Company)




Upholstery: Custom curtains by Eric Bruce, Inc.

Custom leather upholstery by Atelier de France



Interior ambient lighting:

Original 1880 iron chandeliers and sconces manufactured by Mitchell Vance & Co. and restored and relamped by Aurora Lampworks, Inc.

-Edison Price provided the lights on the stanchions and the new/old yokes

-SGF Associates provided the small eye ball fixtures

-Visual Lighting Technologies provided the mid-level fixtures and balcony ceiling cove

-Zumtobel provided the globes under the balcony

-MP provided the LED lights for the lenses in the historic chandeliers

-ETC provided fixtures on the new yoke 

Dimming System or other lighting controls:

ETC Dimming System integrated by Barbizon Lighting Company