Friday, September 21, 2012

Going upstairs

Two things to keep in mind about the apartment that fills the second floor of the Lockwood Building: It has not been occupied in a very long time and the building has major roof issues, so water infiltration has caused a good deal of damage to ceilings and, especially at the rear, has brought plaster down.

On the other hand, little has been altered up here since construction, much of the woodwork is in its original state and the detail was (and is) deluxe --- for the second floor of a commercial building.

Because the building is on the interior of a block, center rooms rely on skylights for lighting. These are generous, but have been painted over in black (to prevent people from looking in?) and so a few rooms are very dim. The large back room, perhaps the main bedroom originally, has windows and is brighter, and the front rooms, which open into each other through large openings with pocket doors are not claustrophibic.

The front stairway from an exterior door at street level opens into a columned foyer that opens into a large room across the width of the building (above).

To the east, pocket doors open into the brightest room in the apartment, with views through two single and one bay window of the courthouse. It looks much dimmer here than it really is because I was relying on natural light. It really is a wonderful space.

The fireplace in this room is one of three in the apartment, all intact; and even the gilt fillet that marks the boundary between wall and ceiling remains intact.

There are two openings in the west wall of the entrance room, a single transomed door that leads to the hallway against the south wall that connects all rooms in the apartment, and doubled pocket doors that open into what may have been the dining room, where another set of pocket doors open into the room beyond. There are two sets of rooms and a cross hall beyond the far wall here before the large rear room is reached.

Transoms into rooms that may once have been used as bedrooms are painted --- and the paint seems to be original, so that's an interesting effect.

Also at the rear, an open staircase leads down into the back of the main floor business room. It's a little difficult to see that stair because a partial wall has been built in front of it to serve as a backdrop for equipment needed for the business that most recently operated here.

Once the roof is repaired/replaced, then it should be possible to restore the apartment --- and that would be fun to see --- although not, for someone who is not handy, to do.


Nash said...

Terry and I spent about an hour in that apartment a year or two ago. We fell in love with it and talk about it often. Terry would like to buy it and live in it partly to prevent an ugly modernization and partly to prevent further decay. It is in sad shape, but also surprisingly unmolested with unpainted woodwork still in great shape for it's age. I worry about places like that when I think about what a new owner might do to strip all the old personality away.

Frank D. Myers said...

I was ready to move in, too --- well, after a new room and a little work. But it's a great space and I hope the new owners respect that.

Frank D. Myers said...

I meant to write, "new roof." There already are rooms enough.