It’s difficult to miss the evidence that the 3750 Lake Shore Drive lobbies, public spaces and first-floor corridors are in the midst of being updated. After more than a year of committee meetings, shareholder suggestions and public input, work has begun, carpet has been ordered, light fixtures are in house and things are beginning to change.

Plastic and caution tape cover doorways where construction is taking place. The fireplace surround in the Grace Street lobby has been temporarily moved. Old-fashioned ashtrays once installed next to each elevator finally have been banished. Some furniture will soon be sent out for recovering and repair, and a few items will be reassigned to new duty in the building’s guest suite.

You may spot “Please excuse the mess!” signs throughout the work area. Our staff and contractors are taking great care to control the dust, noise and inconvenience to shareholders.

Look closely and you’ll also see the signs of progress:

  • New LED lamps being tested in the mailroom offer superior illumination at a fraction of the operating cost of the old lights.
  • The sparkling ceiling fixture near the Grace Street lobby, also with LED lamps, is larger than earlier versions considered by the lobby task force.
  • Stroll down the A-B corridor to see the first installation of the new fire doors mandated by the Life Safety Code. The panel detailing on these doors was carefully chosen to complement the historic style of our elegant building.
  • Further down the corridor on the right there’s a glimpse of the updated wall paneling, rich wall color and elegant brass sconces that will play a key role in our fuller design scheme. Different sconces and colors in the lounges and vestibules.
  • The sticking or molding on the new stairway and corridor doors on the first floor matches exactly the original sticking used in 1926.  The three panel doors closely approximate the size and design of three panel doors shown on the original drawings. We’re still tweaking construction methods and choices to squeeze every nickel., but you’ll get an idea of what to expect.
  • Every piece of furniture that is not broken beyond affordable repair will be reused in the lounges or repurposed in some other part of the building.

Thanks to the many residents who shared their views and important suggestions in public building meetings, via email and the suggestion box. Your input has been invaluable in shaping this project.

For example, while elegant tiled entrances on Lake Shore and Grace will set the tone to be carried throughout our public space, shareholders expressed concerns that the use of tile in the lounges could be slick and dangerous when wet and costly to maintain. Therefore, the plan has been altered to have premium quality, commercial grade carpeting in the lounges.

The Board set a decorating budget number, which we intend to meet, unless we encounter any other unlikely bad surprises. Due to the input of many, the task force employed creative approaches to some of the challenges of the design so that shareholders will get a tremendous value for their money in restoring our home to its vintage splendor. Much thought and study occurred to provide an elegant look, with commercial grade materials designed for these high traffic spaces that will wear well and need less maintenance.

Thanks for your continued patience while work proceeds. We are excited about the progress so far. If all goes a according to plan, our new look could be nearly complete by the end of the year.

To view photos of the remodeling project, see below:

 

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