Monday, November 22, 2010

Back Bay Blah to City Chic - Part 2

My last post gave the preliminaries on redesigning a bachelor's Back Bay condo.  For my readers not famililar with the Boston area, the Back Bay is a very nice section of Boston near the Charles River consisting of many Victorian brownstone buildings in the residential section and taller "mini skyscrapers" in the commercial section.  Curious as to why its called "Back Bay" when its near a river??  Years ago, the area was actually a bay off the Charles River.  In 1857 the city started to fill in the tidal area and it doubled the size of Boston!  Try doing that today with our EPA regulations! Was the area already so crowded in 1857 that they had to fill in a bay to house everyone??  Sorry, I am so totally off track here!

The condo destruction moved along nicely - carpet was ripped out, the kitchen was dismantled.  My client and I were feverishly emailing and snail mailing fabric, furniture, granite and flooring samples.  And I have to say that decisions were made pretty quickly.  My client spent a Saturday afternoon shopping at Home Depot for styles of cabinets and granite he liked while he was on the phone with me!  He gave me the stock numbers and I checked them out online and gave my opinions.   Parallel shopping at its best!

Condo in process
One thing I neglected to mention in my last post... two of the window frames had sustained water damage due to a leak in the outside brick a year ago.  The building management assured us it was all fixed, so Jonathan (Boston Building Doctors)  and his crew scraped away the old bubbled paint and sanded and repainted the sills to gleaming perfection!

Bubbled paint on window frame

And then the rains came........

The particle board revealed...

Frame cave in

Not only wasn't the original leak fixed, but with all the spring rain we had, the leak turned into a gushing river pouring through the particle board (yes, I said particle board) window frame.  The top part of the frame turned to mush and caved in.  The "Spirit of the Bay" was coming back in a big way,  exacting revenge for being filled in! (Sounds better than "It rained and we sprang a leak!")  As for the particle board (yuk and double yuk!),  this was part of a rehab done years ago.  To change the windows now  would be a huge procedure involving the housing authority because the condo was in an historic district.  Building management again went out and repaired the leak.   So we let the windows dry out for a month, repaired again, and kept our fingers crossed....

In the meantime, furniture, appliances and cabinets were ordered, paint was chosen and everything seemed to be moving along pretty smoothly...

And then the rains came....again....

Window Frame - intact!

Luckily, the finger crossing worked!  No leaks!  (Alright, maybe some credit is due to building management for actually fixing the leaks.)

During a construction job, there are bound to be unforeseen problems.  A good designer doesn't panic.  You just deal with the problem and move on.  Fortunately, in this instance, it was not attributed to anything I or my crew did.  (It was all Mother Nature's fault!  Blame her!) 

Next week...the finished product!

For all my readers, this is the time of year when we all reflect on the good in our lives and give thanks for our blessings.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome any and all comments!