UPDATING AN ICON: OUR PROJECT OF THE MONTH
Inside an Emery Roth Landmark on Central Park West
How do you update an icon?
That’s a question the team from Best & Company gets asked frequently by clients who fall in love with a prestigious Manhattan prewar’s “location, location, location,” but feel less than enthusiastic about its dark interior, dysfunctional kitchen, and/or outdated bath.
At Best & Company, we believe that the best renovations temper a genuine respect for tradition with a healthy regard for the contemporary needs and comforts of the current homeowners. After all, even flawless gems need occasional polishing to restore their luster.
Project of the Month:
Built in 1931, the Ardsley is the youngest of master architect Emery Roth’s renowned luxury apartment towers on Central Park West—a series that also includes the San Remo, the Beresford, and the Eldorado.
The building was converted to co-op residences in 1971—which was also about the last time this particular apartment received a thorough update. Our client fell in love with the vibrancy of the Central Park neighborhood, the beauty of the Ardsley’s landmark Art Deco façade, and the intellectual and cultural environment of NYC’s Upper West Side. But the apartment’s gloomy and outdated interior felt like “a cave,” with outdated wallpaper, no place to sit down in the kitchen, and two baths that were less than luxurious. Our clients needed high-functioning spaces in which to work, entertain, and relax at home.
A major Best & Company renovation was in the works.
Working in collaboration with interior designer Alexander Doherty, of Alexander Doherty Design, our crews began by stripping away the old wall-to-wall carpeting, ’70s ceramic tile, and refinishing the apartment’s original quartersawn-oak floors.
We updated the systems—including the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing.
We gutted the sterile 1970s galley and replaced it with a bright, efficient new kitchen fitted with new red-oak floors and custom wood cabinetry crafted in Best & Company’s own Long Island City workshops. In the same footprint, we found space for state-of-the-art pro-style appliances and a built-in bar area, perfect for a quick meal, midnight snack, or catching up on the morning correspondence. A new pocket door glides open to reveal the new dining area.
The baths are now ADA compliant.
A dropped ceiling had made the hallway feel dark and foreboding. We removed it to make the space feel larger and more airy, and painted all the wall surfaces in a pale, light-reflecting palette.
The interior doors, fireplace surround, and wood trim and mouldings were replaced throughout with Art Deco-inspired custom millwork created in Best & Company’s local shops.
Better organization leads to a more comfortable home. Custom built-ins (created in our shops) in the new library/media room and home office lead to better (and more beautiful) use of space.
The finishing touch: We refurbished some of our client’s favorite home furnishings—including the bedroom’s freshly lacquered armoire.
The best homes—like the best cities—change gracefully over time, evolving in ways that retain the best features of the past while making room for innovative and adventurous new additions.
Homes that are well designed and well built at the start can improve over time—when they are in the hands of a sensitive architecture, design, and general contracting team.
Whether your style is classic, contemporary, or both, Best & Company is committed to helping you make it the best it can be.