233 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013
This building is situated on the intersection of Grand Avenue and The Bowery, which is one of the first streets of Manhattan and the path of the old Native American trail on the island. Along Grand Avenue the building faces the iconic Capital Building which was built by Stanford White in 1895.
The original four-story building was purchased by our client a short while after the attacks of 9/11 as he firmly believed in the resurrection of the city in general, and the Chinatown neighborhood in particular. Once we learned we could extend the existing structure to an eight-story, eighty-foot tall building, we convinced our client to make it into a 102-room hotel.
His two conditions were that the enlargement would not affect the ground floor tenants and that the addition would have a stone facade. Both were challenging conditions; on one hand it prevented us from enlarging the footings and foundations of the building and from reinforcing the structure on the ground floor. On the other hand, the existing structure, with the addition of four floors, could not support a traditional stone facade.
Luckily, by removing a very thick eight-foot tall parapet wall which surrounded the top floor, we were able to confirm that the foundations would be able to carry the extra load. For the façade, we specified an open joint system of 1/8” thick Indiana limestone over an aluminum backing, which was light enough to meet our load restrictions.
As we were limited by the number of floors we could add, the original second floor, which had nineteen-foot ceilings, was converted to two floors. A four-foot tall transitional space above the ground floor was created to reroute piping and utilities in order to avoid disruption on the ground floor. The result is a building that elevates the face of the neighborhood and at the same time pays respect to its origin, context, and distinguished neighbor.