New York, NY
The restoration and adaptive re-use of this 1887 cast-iron architectural gem, originally the first block-long department store on New York’s “Ladies Mile,” was an opportunity to combine responsible architectural preservation with a creative development strategy. Extensive historical research revealed that the façade was originally adorned with two beehive-shaped domes designed by the original architect, Mortimer Merritt, and were removed in 1917. Reinstating the domes as habitable space was part of a creative restoration strategy to increase floor area at the top of the building while reclaiming part of New York City’s architectural heritage. When architectural drawings could not be found, archival photographs were used to reconstruct the domes in modern materials not available when the building was originally constructed. The project received unanimous approval from New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and architectural commendations by numerous historical groups throughout the city. Residential floor plans were developed that respect the building’s original commercial use and create inspiring volumes with grand scale.
Photography © Alan Schindler