Facade Details and Windows and the Interior's Finished Cornice Molding, Flooring, and Fireplace

Project: Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable, Episode 18, Part 1



Bob Vila's Home Again wraps up its 15th season on a walk-though of the completed Manhattan Brownstone floor-through apartment. From the exterior facade, where 1890s Brownstone and wrought iron detailing have been cleaned and revitalized, to the grand living room where original cornice molding was uncovered and restored, this project has given 21st-century life to a 19th-century home. Bob looks at how symmetry was restored to choppy spaces that once housed two apartments. Height and space have been restored, with full 12 foot ceilings in the living room and beautiful quarter-sawn Ash floors from Bellawood throughout the space. A new fireplace surround was built on-site by Fort Hill Construction after the original fireplace was revitalized with a flexible steel liner. The kitchen now has a built-in bar and cupboards with the flavor of a butler's pantry, complete with architectural glass fronts from Bendheim. The office space, oversized island, and kitchen counters are all Basaltina stone. The brushed metal drawer pulls and handles blend the stone with the stainless steel appliances from Sub Zero and Wolf. All in all, this is the 21st-century luxury that maintains the legacy of the families who built these proud Brownstones more than 100 years ago.
Part 1: Facade Details and Windows and the Interior's Finished Cornice Molding, Flooring, and Fireplace
Bob is outside the Manhattan Brownstone to show off the refurbished facade of the building. The Brownstone carvings have been cleaned of excess paint to bring them back to life. The wrought iron cages, grates, and ornaments have been stripped and repainted with a light finish. The Deco casement windows from the 40s have been replaced with Pella custom, full-pane double-hung windows that are in keeping with the style of the original building. Bob shows us the completed living room of the Manhattan Brownstone floor-through apartment. The entire space is opened up and is now 22 feet square with 12 1/2 foot ceilings. Symmetry was created by moving the front door and adding a pocket door on the same wall to complement it. The rediscovered cornice molding has been completely restored and quarter-sawn Ash flooring from Bellawood runs the length of the apartment. Bob is joined by project manager Chris Vila and general contractor Jim Kweskin of Fort Hill Construction. The look at the custom, compound-miter fireplace surround that the crew built for the revitalized fireplace. Chris Vila remembers discovering the fireplace and reactivating it by running a flexible, stainless-steel chimney liner from the new firebox to the roof.
Part 2: Kitchen and Butler's Pantry, Venetian Blinds, and Luxury Kitchen Appliances, Finishes, and Cabinetry
Part 3: Finished Brownstone Bathroom, Bedroom, and Patio
This project deals with two very different notions of home. Bob begins on New York City's Upper West Side, where an 1890s Brownstone is revitalized through high-quality craftsmanship and sensitive design. New York's past meets its present, as the entire floor is recaptured and refurbished to create a spacious urban apartment on the doorstep of Central Park.

At the same time, Bob works with a Cape Cod developer to apply Massachusetts land use statute 40B to create affordable housing, and a neighborhood of homes in Mashpee, MA. These Energy Star certified homes show how quality building practices and reasonable asking prices can work together to provide livable, affordable homes and neighborhoods to those who work in our communities.

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