“For the harmonious and contextually sensitive renovation of the row of storefront facades on the east side of Madison Avenue immediately north of 88th Street,” the Carnegie Hill Neighbors will recognize the Board of Directors of 47 East 88th Street on May 13, 2013 at the National Academy Museum.
Christine G. H. Franck is very honored that her design for the renovation of the shopfronts along Madison Avenue, just north of East 88th Street have contributed to improving the streetscape of Madison Avenue and prompted the Carnegie Hill Neighbors to recognize the careful efforts of the Board of Directors of 47 East 88th Street, in particular, former board President Allan Mitchell who pioneered this project with Christine G. H. Franck.
After renovating the lobby of their building (47 East 88th Street) in collaboration with Eric Cohler, Inc., Christine G. H. Franck was asked to develop the design for renovating the shopfronts in a way that would bring them back to the spirit of their original condition while meeting all contemporary needs. The existing shopfronts had been changed by individual shop owners over the years, all but eliminating the once beautiful metal frame shopfronts.
After careful study of the existing conditions of the shops, identifying original elements, and a study of comparable historic shopfronts on the Upper East Side, a concept for renovating the shops to be similar to their original appearance was proposed and enthusiastically accepted by the client. The intent was not to replicate the original shopfronts, as this would have been cost prohibitive, but to capture the delicate essence of the metal structure of the shopfront frames, to improve the visual harmony of the street, and to design shopfronts which were in keeping with and complimentary to the historic building.
Among the greatest challenges was to find manufacturers and suppliers who could produce metal components similar to the original elements. After exhaustive research and consulting Traditional Building’s product and supplier database (with a hint from Clem Labine), the original supplier of the cresting was found. Even more remarkable was that they, W. F. Norman, were still producing the same metal stamped cresting.
After a final review of the design concept and modifications to make the shopfronts as appealing as possible to potential new tenants, the design was finalized and released to the architects of record: C3D Architecture, PLLC, who carried forward the design through construction. Below is a final rendering of the design concept by Christine G. H. Franck.
Far too often today, designs are created which are not contextual with their buildings or places. Our goal here was a sensitive renovation, sensitive to the immediate context of the building and sensitive to the context of Carnegie Hill. Christine G. H. Franck is delighted that this work, a collaboration between the vision of the client, the expertise of the designer, and the skill of the architects has been recognized.