The Castro Building
Jeff was referred to a project and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted at the door by Bernadette Castro, the famous little girl who demonstrated how easy it was to open the convertible sofa her father had invented. Having grown up watching Bernadette's commercials on TV, Jeff was star struck and stammered hello. It seems that Bernard Castro not only invented the fold out bed but also bought the real estate beneath his showrooms. His family owns and manages many of the former buildings and wanted to restore the flagship location on 23rd Street in Manhattan.
The first of many things they wanted to be done was remodeling and enlarging the small Victorian lobby which featured a gorgeous cast iron stair painted in many colors as was the style 100 years ago. The walls had dreary marble wainscots with dark wood paneling above. A different Architect had recommended replacing the old stair. Aghast at the suggestion, Bernadette found JSA&D. Jeff immediately told Bernadette to feature the beautiful stair in an updated environment. The family wanted to keep the costs down as many other building repairs were needed. Once engaged, Jeff's next idea was to insert mirror into the existing recesses of the raised wood paneling and replace the marble. The first of the attached renderings show how the simple treatment would have visually enlarged the space and reflected its best attribute; the stair. The Castro Family then changed their minds and wanted a contemporary lobby and the addition of a revolving door. The walls are now clad with white glass and the Victorian stair stripped and refinished with a gun metal patina. The revolving door was presented to and approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission.