The gutting of the ground floor uncovered a former union meeting hall, with a steel beam spanning 45 feet. “With renovations on buildings like these,” says Berridge, “you never know what you’ve got until you start doing demolition. Once we started, none of us could figure out what was holding the building up, because there were no posts. It was quite something. That’s what allowed us to have this huge open space on the ground floor.”
Bartlett didn’t want plugs that would protrude below where paintings hung, but the building code demands a certain amount per room, so the architect designed recessed ones that interrupted the plane of the wall as little as possible.