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Building Conservation Associates

The Prasada

Location: New York, New York
Year Built: 1904-1907
Original Architect: Charles W. Romeyn

The Prasada was one of the first luxury apartment buildings in New York City and is now a contributing resource to the Upper West Side/ Central Park West Historic District. Constructed in 1907, the building was designed by Charles W. Romeyn and Henry R. Wynne for owners Franklin and Samuel B. Raines. BCA was retained by the Co-Op Board to rehabilitate their historic lobby space. The defining feature of the lobby is the barrel-vaulted stained-glass laylight over the central space of the lobby. According to a period rendering of the lobby, other original decorative elements may have included a marble tile floor, marble benches, and four massive caryatids that supported the stained-glass laylight. At the far west end of the lobby, facing the entrance, an elegant fountain backlit by a wall of stained-glass windows completed the original scheme.

BCA presented three concepts and provided construction documents through project administration of the rehabilitation. Working with Karen Arrigoni Architect, new design elements were introduced to remove inappropriate alterations, such as reducing the massing of later columns that replaced the original caryatids.  A new doorman station was designed and custom built by a master carpenter bringing the lobby closer to Romeyn’s original design intent with modern interventions like central air conditioning and lighting. Restoration of key elements such as the stained glass laylight were included in the scope of work.