Madison Avenue Lobby Gets a Makeover For the 21st Century

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New York architecture firm Montroy Anderson DeMarco (MADGI) recently completed renovation work on a historic lobby at 180 Madison Avenue in Manhattan with the hopes of attracting media and technology firms.

The New York Real Estate Journal reports that the 2,200 square foot lobby has traded in its faint lighting and antiquated style for LED lights and computer screens. Built in 1927, when Calvin Coolidge was President and The Jazz Singer was in theaters, the lobby’s building is one block away from the Empire State Building.

The lobby of the 24-story building was renovated after the building’s manager, CBRE Group, Inc., decided it needed more than a few changes.

“The renovated lobby reflects the quality of the building and its prime location,” said Laura Bruno, the building’s property manager. “Prior to the renovation, this space was dimly lit and uninviting, with outdated finishes and a reception desk inconveniently located far away from the building’s entrance. The new lobby is stunning, with restored stone, excellent lighting, and a new, centrally-located, custom-fabricated reception desk.”

Daniel Montroy, MADGI Principal and the leader of the Landlord Services Studio, says the new design and features are meant in part to attract new tenants, especially media and technology companies.

"The MADGI team maintained the beauty of the historic, marble-clad lobby, while modernizing its appearance, improving the street appeal, and introducing visually strong, hi-tech features, such as strip LED lighting.
“The MADGI team maintained the beauty of the historic, marble-clad lobby, while modernizing its appearance, improving the street appeal, and introducing visually strong, hi-tech features, such as strip LED lighting.

“The MADGI team maintained the beauty of the historic, marble-clad lobby, while modernizing its appearance, improving the street appeal, and introducing visually strong, hi-tech features, such as strip LED lighting. We have seamlessly meshed the new and the old,” Montroy said.

Among the features of the new lobby include marble walls, terrazzo floors, plaster ceilings, and high arches. The designers wanted to retain as much of the original 1920s design as they could while simultaneously modernizing it to fit the taste and needs of the 21st century. New lighting and HVAC systems were installed yet the marble, terrazzo, and plaster material remained intact, though they were either repainted or polished.

“It was obvious the space needed improved lighting and new finishes, but the original refined elegance of the 1920s interior was already there,” said Sarah Bigos, MADGI’s project manager. “We focused on opening the space up and exposing the chic marble walls and elaborate plaster ornaments.”

The renovations also included a new, 12 foot-long marble front desk with sleek compartments for CCTV monitors, computer systems, and security personnel’s personal items.

The building managers are more than likely happy with the decision to not import new marble or terrazzo. Terrazzo, for example, costs $7-10 per square foot, and for a 2,200 square foot lobby, the price would have been excessive.

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