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231 East 22nd Street, Suite 23 New York NY 10010

Fax: +88 (0) 202 0000 001

Green-Wood Historic Chapel

Location: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Landmark Status: NYC Individual Landmark; National Historic Landmark

Original Architect: Warren & Wetmore

Date of Construction: 1911-1913

Date of Restoration: 2018-2020

Scope of Work: Roofing & Drainage Replacement, Limestone Cleaning Restoration & Carving, Interior Finishes Restoration, Stained Glass Restoration

Awards: Excellence in Historic Preservation Award (Preservation League of New York State), Preservation Award (Victorian Society in America)


Green-Wood Cemetery’s historic chapel was designed by Warren & Wetmore and sited just downhill from the cemetery’s main entrance. Constructed in 1911-13, the neogothic design was reportedly inspired by Sir Christopher Wren’s Tom Tower, Christ Church, Oxford (1681-1682), with a character-defining octagonal lantern topped by a ribbed ogee dome. Compact and jewel-like, the chapel boasts intricate stone carvings and window tracery, figurative stained glass by the Willett Stained Glass and Decorating Company of Philadelphia, and an interior finished with natural and imitation limestone and Guastavino tile. Appropriately, utilitarian elements such as roof drainage systems and the boiler chimney are hidden from view.


In recent decades, the chapel was used only rarely. In 2018, owner’s representative About the Work retained Walter B. Melvin Architects, LLC and stained-glass consultant Julie L. Sloan for a comprehensive restoration effort. Initial surveys by WBMA revealed significant interior water damage caused by deteriorated roofing systems and drainage courses through the masonry walls. The exterior limestone was found to be in general disrepair with eroded mortar joints, cracked and displaced units, missing decorative elements, and heavily soiled surfaces. The stained glass was in similarly poor condition, having settled, deflected, and cracked due to weakened lead.


At the exterior, scope of work included repair and replacement of all roofing and internal drainage systems; infill of non-original scuppers at decorative limestone parapets; and associated limestone restoration, including cleaning, repointing, and carving of new decorative elements, most notably the long-missing monumental cross. Halfway through the project, Green-Wood directed the project team to proceed with the enormous task of replacing the concealed waterproofing at the limestone-slab roof over the chancel, to address leaking. Inside, stonework was allowed to dry, cleaned of efflorescence, and repaired with limestone dutchman and the spot application of mineral paint. All of the stained glass was carefully removed from the windows, cleaned and fully restored off site, and re-installed. This work was performed judiciously during the pandemic and finished on schedule.


The restored chapel once again provides visitors to the cemetery a most peaceful sanctuary to rest and contemplate, and will help imbue new life into Green-Wood as a home for art, music and even celebration.

Sergio De Orbeta


Sergio De Orbeta

With over 19 years of experience in the field, Sergio has been instrumental in the successful restoration, repair, and continued maintenance of numerous historic structures in New York City and beyond.  13 of those years have been at WBMA, where he has taken a detailed and methodical approach to his projects. Some of his noteworthy ongoing projects include Casa Italiana, Columbia University; The Osborne; 100 Hudson Street; 525 Park Avenue; 130 East End Avenue; and 300 West 108th Street.  Previous award-winning projects include 131 Duane Steet – the Hope Building, 451 Broome Street, Donald Judd Home & Studio, and Marymount School of New York.  He is a Registered Architect in the States of New York and New Jersey. Originally from Puerto Rico, Sergio received his Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor of Architecture with a Minor in Architectural History from Carnegie Mellon University.



University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Master of Science in Historic Preservation

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Bachelor of Architecture
Minor in Architectural History

Professional Registration

Registered Architect in the States of New York and New Jersey

Martin Lee Griggs, RA

Martin Lee Griggs

Martin has worked in the architecture and construction industry for over 30 years, including 26 years at WBMA specializing in the assessment and repair of exterior envelopes. He has overseen several award-winning restoration projects including St. Paul’s Chapel – Columbia University, 451 Broome Street, Liberty Tower and Alwyn Court, as well as restoration projects at Louis Sullivan’s Bayard-Condict Building, the Cosmopolitan Club, several City parks and residential cooperatives. Martin is well versed in the myriad building materials that have been used in the northeast and has extensive experience assessing and restoring a variety of masonry and roofing systems. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and is a Registered Architect in New York State.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Bachelor of Architecture

Professional Registration
Registered Architect in the State of New York

Robert C. Bates


Robert C. Bates

With 35 years of professional experience at WBMA, Robert has overseen restoration projects at many of New York City’s premier institutions, including The Met Cloisters, Donald Judd Home and Studio, Green-Wood Cemetery and Riverside Church, as well as McKim Mead and White’s 998 Fifth Avenue and William Tuthill’s Schinasi Mansion at 351 Riverside Drive. A graduate of Lehigh University, Robert is a Registered Architect in the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as a member of the American Institute of Architects. He has a strong understanding of traditional building materials and has developed many new restoration techniques over the years. Robert has published articles on waterproofing of historic masonry walls, restoration of cast iron, and roofing replacement.



Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Bachelor of Art in Architecture

Professional Registration

Registered Architect in the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut