This years Kips Bay Show House is in the Villard Mansion at 457 Madison Avenue. When I visited in 1987 it was The Helmsley Palace Hotel. A lot has changed since then.
In 1882, Henry Villard, a well-known railroad financier, hired McKim, Mead, and White to create six private brownstone townhouses surrounding a courtyard on Madison Avenue. The prominent architectural firm created the houses in the neo-Italian Renaissance tradition, after the Palazzo della Cancellaria in Rome.
In the spring of 1974, the developer Harry Helmsley proposed a 55-story hotel for the site of the Villard Houses called The Helmsley Palace Hotel. To construct his hotel tower, Helmsley hired Emery Roth & Sons, who created its design of dark bronze reflective glass and anodized aluminum to blend with the Villard Houses and Manhattan’s surrounding skyline. The Helmsley Palace Hotel opened in 1981 and was operated by Helmsley until 1992, when the hotel came under the management of a private New York limited partnership, changing its name to The New York Palace.
During Helmsley’s ownership his wife, Leona Helmsley, maintained a strict and intolerant management style which involved her firing staff members for trivial mistakes, an act which gave her the nickname, “Queen of Mean.” The hotel reverted to its bond holders from Leona Helmsley and was ultimately purchased by The Sultan of Brunei with the concurrence of the US Bankruptcy Court. The Sultan of Brunei, through its development company, Amedeo Limited, hired Lee Jablin of Harman Jablin Architects for the complete renovation of the hotel and Villard Houses.
Northwood Investors bought the hotel from the Sultan of Brunei in 2011.
The Kips Bay Show House is in the townhouse on the left of the courtyard. I was disappointed with the townhouse and the interior decoration with the exception of a few rooms. No photography was permitted, but I had seen two of the rooms in Habitually Chic, which I loved. They were the best rooms.
Love this paneled sitting room by Carrier and Company with custom gilt wallpaper. It is quite a small room, but the furnishings and design gave it a spacious while intimate feeling.
Alexa Hampton’s Sitting Room also had fabulous panels and custom printed wallcovering from Duggal. The large tile pattern is wonderful. The smaller version below the chair rail not so much. Duggal is a wonderful source for digitized media. Trend alert - Utilize digital images for unique patterns, large format photography and lenticular holographic imagery.
The kitchen done by Matthew Quinn was excellent. The Dacor refrigerator doors in stainless and brass were amazing. The Helix Silestone countertops in a suede finish were perfect with the stainless and gray color palette. The designer said the view of St. Patricks through the kitchen window was his inspiration for the lights (incense burners) and window treatment (organ pipes).
I had really chosen to see this years Kips Bay Show House because of the location. I fell in love with the Gold Tea Room in the Helmsley, the grand lobby with beautiful marble and all the architectural features. The show house rooms really did not have a backdrop of grand features I expected to see. Some designers even chose to cover some grand features. Over the years, the changes that have been made to the Villard in my view are not all improvements.
Architectural features and columns were eliminated. Marble panels were painted. The lighting updated. Getting rid of the yellow gold on the walls was a good idea. New floors look great. The marble panels could have remained since they repeated the stone for the focal point fireplace. Not all bad but……
The New York Palace Hotel Michel Richard Bistro. Amazing room with fabulous stone columns, pilasters, niches and crown.
Today the restaurant has this huge wine display.
The Tea Room which I looked forward to seeing again is now a restaurant with huge images propped against the walls covering really beautiful artistry. The ceiling is still beautiful.
The common areas are still original. Check out the marble balustrades. There are several different designs.
More to follow. Next we visited the Mansion in May Show House, The Blairsden Mansion, in Peapack, New Jersey. The seventh largest home in the US. An impressive Beaux Arts style home.
Reminder to submit your ugly grille image to Beaux-Artes’ Second Annual Ugliest Grille Contest. All you have to do is send a picture of the grille you would like to replace with one of Beaux-Artes decorative grilles, to [email protected] Deadline for submissions is May 30th, 2014. The winners will be announced June 4th, 2014. Visit here for contest details.