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Thread: Renovating a TriBeCa Lobby

  1. #1

    Default Renovating a TriBeCa Lobby

    Hello all,

    Almost two years ago this board was an excellent help in the exterior restoration of a limestone building for me. I hope to gain similar help in restoring a lobby.

    Hopefully this is the place I can find advice and feedback. If not, please let me know and I can delete the post. Also, if you know another message board that may help please let me know.

    Our lobby is not that big, probably about 150 sq ft. It was beautiful several years ago. However, over time the marble has aged and yellowed to a point where restoration appears impossible. Further, the marble floor of our steps have recently cracked to the point of needed replacement. It is time for us to do a renovation.

    Basically I am thinking the following:

    1. FLOOR:
    The terrazzo of the lobby can be grinded and polished to a very nice restoration.
    We may be able to keep the marble steps, but the platform (covered by a colorful carpet) needs to be replaced as it has cracked beyond repair (thus the carpet). I can either put in new marble or another flooring (maybe tile -vct?) and can also redo the mail room floor in the back. Should I use a tile or put in new marble or something else? Should the mail room floor be replaced too? If I use a new material on the platform and mailroom, should the steps also be replaced?

    2. WALLS:
    Although its awesome to have marble walls, the staining of the marble is beyond repair and I believe it needs to be replaced. I have talked to a few marble experts and they all agree. Would drywall be sufficient or should I use a stone (the drywall will probably get damaged)? If so, what type of stone? And should the stone go floor to ceiling or just as a 3-4' wainscot with a clean drywall above? Is there another wall solution? Should I repaint the elevator or try and match it's exterior to the new wall? Should I use a base molding (colors)?

    3. CEILING:
    Ceiling is covered with electrical piping, and old fixtures. I think the easiest solution we should be putting something below this to give it a clean look. Just a dropped ceiling with tile or should it be flushed? What kind of lighting do you recommend?

    4. Anything else I am missing?

    Any advice is super appreciated! Here are some photos for reference.

    josh























  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    1. FLOOR:
    The terrazzo of the lobby can be grinded and polished to a very nice restoration.
    We may be able to keep the marble steps, but the platform (covered by a colorful carpet) needs to be replaced as it has cracked beyond repair (thus the carpet). I can either put in new marble or another flooring (maybe tile -vct?) and can also redo the mail room floor in the back. Should I use a tile or put in new marble or something else? Should the mail room floor be replaced too? If I use a new material on the platform and mailroom, should the steps also be replaced?
    Can you get terrazzo that matches the existing tiles? IF so that coudl be an alternative for the damaged platform area. I guess three floor materials in view of each other is a bit much.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    2. WALLS:
    Although its awesome to have marble walls, the staining of the marble is beyond repair and I believe it needs to be replaced. I have talked to a few marble experts and they all agree. Would drywall be sufficient or should I use a stone (the drywall will probably get damaged)? If so, what type of stone? And should the stone go floor to ceiling or just as a 3-4' wainscot with a clean drywall above? Is there another wall solution? Should I repaint the elevator or try and match it's exterior to the new wall? Should I use a base molding (colors)?
    I'm not an expert, but in my limited experience, you can pretty much always grind down marble and re-polish it. I don't understand why that isn't doable here.

    Stone up to a dado-rail height is, otherwise, a cheaper option and it actually looks nice (and whitewashed walls can be touched up constantly and cheaply to keep a pristine look above the dado trail.

    Another 0.02 >> I think the illumiantion is the worst elemetn in teh pictures I see. Decent wall-sconces would improve the look tremendously and don't have to cost much. As to the ceiling, If you have to drop it to cover utilities, maybe you could create a recess aroudn the edges (with appropriate moulding, which can also be illuminated and looks really nice.

    Best of luck, man.

  4. #4

    Default Re

    Quote Originally Posted by Luca View Post
    I'm not an expert, but in my limited experience, you can pretty much always grind down marble and re-polish it. I don't understand why that isn't doable here.
    We have tried grinding it in the past, but the marble is stained inside too. I assume there was lots of smoke in this lobby back in the day.

  5. #5

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    Maybe the photos don't do justice to how bad the marble is, but if this were my building I'd try to keep it... stains, yellowing, patch jobs and all. Give it a good cleaning and make friends with the weathered patina. If they clean it, do NOT have it polished to a shine... you want a semi-matt finish (a shine to the floor can work.) . The grey painted marble around the elevators... can that be stripped? I'd spend money on the ceiling, the lighting. Get rid of the metal cladding. The grey floor color works... I'd redo the rest of the floors in dark grey too.

  6. #6

    Default Re

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    Maybe the photos don't do justice to how bad the marble is, but if this were my building I'd try to keep it... stains, yellowing, patch jobs and all. Give it a good cleaning and make friends with the weathered patina. If they clean it, do NOT have it polished to a shine... you want a semi-matt finish (a shine to the floor can work.) . The grey painted marble around the elevators... can that be stripped? I'd spend money on the ceiling, the lighting. Get rid of the metal cladding. The grey floor color works... I'd redo the rest of the floors in dark grey too.
    I do not have an aesthetic eye, but everyone I have talked to says the marble is in terrible condition. I brought in two separate marble-cleaner companies, both said the marble was in one of the worst conditions they have seen and that it can not be cleaned to a reasonable level - that it is stained within. We have tried to clean it twice in the past with some of the best stone cleaners - only to not succeed.

    I have also had two separate architects take a look, and although they love the stone, they say "it needs to be cleaned" - which it can't be, and then think it needs a new stone.

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default

    In that case would it not be best, rather than to remove the marble (just in case someone discovers something miraculous in the future that will do the restoration job) to somehow cover over the marble (but without damaging it any further with drilling holes, etc.)?

    Not sure if that would be an easy thing to do. But removing those huge slabs without busting them to bits and possibly causing further damage to the existing floor and surrounding areas is something to be careful about. Plus you never know what you'll find behind there that could lead to further costs in fixing up the lobby.

  8. #8
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Can any of the marble walls be used to replace parts of the floor or steps? And if not there, they would make a nice patio or pathway - even stained is nicer than concrete or asphalt, no? Somebody should take them if you can't use them.

  9. #9

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    That BTW is the kind of marble I like: white with soft blured veins... it's not loud.

    --
    Last edited by Fabrizio; June 16th, 2009 at 06:08 PM.

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