Events May 2024

LocalVirtual Presentation

Have You “Herd”: The Nivola Horses Are Back

May 7, 2024

Landmark West! is hosting a virtual presentation with two of the conservators who helped bring the Nivola horses back to their home on the plaza atStephen Wise Towers on West 90th and West 91st Streets. Mary Jablonski and Ed FitzGerald will share the process of researching these public artworks—including a journey to modernist mecca Columbus, Indiana—and the many steps of conservation involved in returning these playful concrete sculptures to their plaza and community.

Italian sculptor Costantino Nivola (1911–1988) was known in NYC for his large-scale bas-reliefs, murals, and free-standing sculptural installations. One of his most visible was the herd of 18 cast-concrete horse sculptures he created as part of a landscaped modernist plaza at Stephen Wise Towers in 1965.

The horses, while beloved by the kids who rode them in countless play scenarios and the adults who appreciated Nivola’s deeply thoughtful approach to a plaza with specific areas for play and relaxation, definitely took some knocks through the decades. When a water main break flooded the plaza in 2021, the Nivola herd suffered major casualties. They were unceremoniously cut off and carted away. Their story is one of renewal and return.


Mary Jablonski is the president and founder of Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc. and has over 25 years’ experience in many aspects of historic conservation. Mary has special interests in decorative finishes, early 1800s frame buildings, and modern materials. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and the Association for Preservation Technology. Mary has taught in the Historic Preservation Program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University since 2002.

Edward G. FitzGerald is Senior Associate and Senior Conservator at Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc. Ed’s specialties include architectural wood, masonry, and ceramic materials and he designs and executes innovative conservation treatments across a variety of projects. Ed is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation and a Recognized Professional member of the Association for Preservation Technology.

Tuesday May 7, 6:00–7:00 pm