Summer/ Fall Resoration Project: Chelsea Townhome Facade Restoration

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This gallery contains 4 photos.

Hello all! Welcome back to another segment of our NYC townhome restoration. We hope everyone out there stayed safe before, during and after hurricane Sandy. Now that the storm has passed, work has resumed again this week on the most … Continue reading

Summer/ Fall Restoration Project: Chelsea Townhome Entry Door

Hello everyone! We’re back again with another post about our Chelsea restoration project. This time I’ll be discussing the entry door. The entry door is made of sturdy 5inch thick white oak wood. It has four trim encased openings for fenestration. The existing coating of varnish on the exterior of the door has deteriorated and we will be replacing it with a high quality application from Fine Paints of Europe paint company.


Two-toned doors will NOT be staying (bummer, I know): primed door on the right, final coat of paint on the left

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The Mystery of the Howard Hall cemetery

No, you’re not about to read my attempt at a suspense novel aimed at gawky pre-teen boys who have an insatiable lust for adventure and mystery solving. Although, there is a book involved, and also a bit of a mystery. A missing person’s case, if you will. Did I mention that these persons are dead and buried somewhere on our property?


What won’t those boys get themselves into?

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The app that takes you back

The Historic Albany Foundation recently announced the release of member Tim Varney’s new smartphone app “Albany: Then and Now.” Even the title alone sounds exciting! And now, after throwing a super fancy release the party, the app is officially available for download. So what exactly does “Albany: Then and Now” do, you ask?

     
The opening app screen (left) where you can navigate to the map (right). Each red arrow represents a location with an historical image associated with it.

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Summer/ Fall Restoration Project: Chelsea Townhome Parapet Restoration

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

Our project in Chelsea began with the demolition of the parapet wall at the roof level. The portion of the roof being replaced served as rainwater and snow catchment for the larger, slightly raised slopped roof. The owner was concerned … Continue reading

Fort Greene “Afters”

Remember this surreal restoration that threw a few surprises our way? We officially closed the book on it at the beginning of the summer, when the homeowners debuted their new digs with a Memorial Day BBQ. They shared some “after” pictures they took personally, but we just received some pro ones from our good friend Nelson Hancock (who also took some unbelievably gorgeous shots of this lobby restoration we did), and we just had to post them!
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Our Latest Summer/ Fall Restoration Project

For several weeks we have been rearranging and replacing a number of features for our current project. This historic townhome in the Chelsea area of NYC needed a few repairs and installments that would not only enhance its aesthetic qualities but also make it impervious to New York’s harsh weather conditions. The majority of the work has been on the exterior. The client was concerned about the weather resistance of the front door, the lower portion of the facade and the lower front windows. The main issue was at the roof level. The concern there was how the parapet delt with water drainage and accessibilty in the winter. One by one we are resolving these issues all while smoothly clearing the hurdles of inclimate weather and task coordination. More images will be available as the project nears completion.

Birds, or history?

On my very first visit to Howard Hall, we spent the majority of the evening on the porch that spans the entire width of the back of the house. The view was incredible. The Hudson, framed by acres and acres of trees, lolled by in the distance. The feeling of it all being so close you could touch it was amplified by the fact that the railing had yet to be installed. The scene felt like a Hudson River School painting that I could walk right into, Mary Poppins style.

The view from the roof

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Scratch(coat) another off the list!

Our latest project is complete! Yes, the brownstone with the ugly paint job and the dilapidated stoop has been restored and is ready for its world debut! While we did not end up replacing the old ironwork on the window grates, fences, and stoop, we did end up replacing everything else. The new brownstone stoop, foundation, lintels, and sills could not look more beautiful, nor could they match the new paint better.

     

Left: The finished brownstone facade. Right: The finished foundation.

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Respect the home, respect the homeowner

Most of the time when we are called in to do a job, we’re the first on the scene and we begin the restoration from scratch. Sometimes, though, we’re asked to finish a job that another had started. Unfortunately, this usually means that the previous contractor abandoned the job and left a mess in their wake. We have seen some absurd messes in our day, from the mundane (like using Portland cement in masonry or the painting over of brownstone with moisture locking paint) to the just plain stupid (like coating a 1780 Federal style mansion in pink driveway paint). The point is, we’ve seen it all.

Pink paint
Why would anyone paint their driveway this color, let alone their 18th century Federal?

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