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Posts tagged: bed stuy brownstone

Design Challenge

Here’s a niche in the entry of a building in Bed-Stuy. We could only guess what was there before. The search for similar woodwork in the neighbors’ buildings turned up nothing, so I had to invent something. The radiator needed a cover that integrated with the adjoining wainscot and didn’t keep the front door from opening. The niche was only 3-4 inches deep, so there wasn’t enough depth for shelving.

plaster wainscot radiator restoration brownstone brooklynplaster wainscot readiator restoration brownstone brooklyn

Below is the first design, based loosely on a 19th century stage. Note how the shelving is set in from the edge of the niche. This allows the “curiosity cabinet” to project forward without obscuring the plaster edge detail.

curiosity cabinet brownstone brooklyn

Below is a radiator grille similar to the one used above. This is a inexpensive way to make a Victorian looking radiator built-in. The nicest grilles can be bought from King Architectural Metals and then inserted into casework.

brownstone radiator grille victorian

Here’s the end result. Built out of hard maple and finished with hand mixed shellac to approximate the original 19th century finish. Some of the elements, the spindles, casing, and brackets were purchased from Vintage Woodworks. The other parts, most notably the top, were made in my shop on a band saw. The “pineapple” at the center top was inspired by my trip to Charleston. It’s a symbol of welcome there, found in many entries.

Brownstone entry brooklyn gavinyoungmaloney

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