Central Park West

Central Park West

Complete renovation, custom designs, and decoration of a pre-war building designated as a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

As an interior designer with a real estate license, I am sometimes asked to find a residence for clients or take a look at a space before any papers are signed. In this case, I actually found a very special co-op for my client at a very excellent price in The San Remo, a historic building on Central Park West on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It had been the old super’s apartment. It was a nearly 3,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom co-op.

The main issue with this job? The San Remo is not just a historic building—it has been designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). So that meant we had to get three sets of approvals for our work: applying to the co-op board itself, then the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB), and finally to the LPC. And getting all those approvals (and the special permits from the LPC) was very time-consuming.

Another unusual thing was that new owners had to commit to replacing the windows when they purchased the residence. And at that time, there was only one company that had approval from the LPC to put in the kinds of windows required for a landmark Upper West Side building.

The good news? My client had time. He wasn’t under the gun. So, we got all our approvals and permits and moved forward. He wanted something with a kind of Old World classic design, but with a bit of a modern lite twist. It was a very dark space, so we had to open it up and make it brighter.

There were several challenges along the way. The kitchen was previously three separate rooms with three different sets of riser stacks that we had to design around. The bathrooms hadn’t been touched since the 1920s, so we had to redo everything from the risers to the ceilings and install all-new pipes. And to duplicate the molding, we had to cut our own knives in order to be able to reproduce the glorious existing molding.

Then there was the antique flooring. What were we going to replace that with? Antique flooring, which was a bit of a challenge to locate, but we did. Then there was the bathroom tiles. I sourced a manufacture in Oregon who claimed they could reproduce the tiles. I took a special trip there to see for myself the process of the fabrication, which was fascinating. The tiles were perfect.  And finally, there was the HVAC system. Previously, residents used window box air conditioners, but with the new windows, no window box air conditioners were allowed on the façade of the landmark upper west side building. So, we hired an engineer to design a central air system. Unfortunately, his design would destroy the old molding and run the ducts through the middle of the ceiling though out the apartment without any consideration for our design of the beautiful details of the molding and ceilings. Needless to say, I stepped in and redesigned his plan. In the end, the ducting design was seamless and worked without compromising the beautiful details.

The duration of the project was just over thirty-two months and was featured in East Coast Home + Design magazine.

Project type

Residential Design

Location

Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York

Services

Architectural Design

Construction & Installation

Consulting

Project Management

Interior Design

Project Liaison

Upper West Side Co-op featuring classical design and modern art accented décor. Furnished with antiques including the 17th century trestle table and zebra skin covered castle chairs. Decor showcases floral wallpaper and limited edition photographs.
Central Park West – Foyer
This classical living room boasts custom damask chairs, a vintage sofa, ebony lacquered cocktail table, and glass lamps with painted gold leaf and black silk-threaded shades.
Central Park West – Living Room
This classical living room boasts custom damask chairs, a vintage sofa, ebony lacquered cocktail table, and glass lamps with painted gold leaf and black silk-threaded shades.
Central Park West – Desk in Living Room
The different design periods create an eclectic cohesive whole. The alcove houses a Regency display cabinet. The game table offers a separate nook. The details of the custom drapery exemplify the depths of the design.
Central Park West – Living Room Vignette
The kitchen was originally four rooms. Three of them housed floor-to-ceiling plumbing riser stacks. The island was designed to house the largest riser stack. A custom storage cabinet with arched detail softens the overall linear influence.
Central Park West – Kitchen Island
The bar area houses a custom built-in marble sink that retains the original faucet fixture and is complemented by a wine cooler.
Central Park West – Kitchen Bar
The mid-century modern dining table with brass legs is paired with gothic style high back chairs.  A 17th century tapestry and 16th century Gold leaf Japanese silk screen adorn the walls. The chandelier is a custom.
Central Park West – Formal Dining Room
This 18th Century side board consists of a Mid-century modern silver tea setting, a hand blown glass emerald green lamp with gold leaf and a Black Hand spun silk threaded shade.
Central Park West – Dining Room Vignette
The kitchen seating area consists of a custom roman shade which complement the vintage area rug. The banquette table is a Chippendale reproduction. The chairs are Ralph Lauren. The chandeliers are Empire and Rococo pieces.
Central Park West – Seating Area
The master bath was expanded to accommodate a walk-in frameless shower. Glass panels offer maximum openness. The lacquer finish coffered ceiling adds depth to the design.
Central Park West – Master Bathroom
The centerpiece of this bathroom is a custom soaker tub with nickel and porcelain fixtures. The custom wall tiles are hand painted with a crackle finish.
Central Park West – Bathroom

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