Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Victorian Brownstone
Location: 381 Lafayette St., NYC
Scope of Work:
studio was a former chapel with open ceiling height over 40' high above the floor. The building began
as an Orphanage starting in the 1850's. The building was little changed over the next century as the
neighborhood and NYC generally declined . Poverty preserves. All architectural features and woodwork
are largely intact today.
The original front door, with arched two-lite transom over double doors with five raised or glazed
molded panels in each leaf was 16' high x 5' wide overall. The doors were over 11' high x 2 3/4" thick.
Each door and the frame were restored, by stripping the paint first, inlaying antique pine Dutchmen
into the numerous damages over the years, and repairing damages to the stiles and rails from sagging
hinges. Almost all hardware was modern, in poor condition, and discarded. A new electric strike and
lockset was installed, and the original saddle re-set in the sandstone sill, to shed water outside the
building. A copper mesh "speakeasy" door and iron mailbox were original, and preserved.
The building serves as the home of the Rauschenberg Foundation today, exhibiting the artists' work and
supporting charitable causes, fostering the development of other artists' talent.