Photo by Robert Kerr
Photo by Robert Kerr
Fort Orange Club
MCWB was hired to provide design and construction documents for the renovation of the West Lounge. This involved research, documentation, and preparation of a design scheme; integrating historic elements from the 1880’s Queen Anne period (when the room was an outdoor porch) and the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts period (when the room was renovated by the noted Albany Architect Marcus Reynolds) with contemporary hospitality facility requirements. Work included a new copper roof, excavation of the crawl space for construction of a new mechanical room, new mechanical and electrical systems, and a new floor structure.
All aspects of the decorative interior finishes were carefully considered to unify the various elements of the space. New chandeliers were designed using the language of the existing original 1905 period Gustav Stickley wall sconces, which were carefully restored. Reproduction furnishings and lamps were selected from American Arts and Crafts designers including Stickley and Charles Limbert. Original Queen Anne period Windsor chairs found in the club were also reproduced for the room. Decorative wall stenciling in patterns of gold and silver were designed for the walls, accented with stenciled panel motifs of a vase with tulips symbolizing the Dutch origins of the City of Albany. Window curtains were designed using woven decorative wool fabric designed by noted English Arts and Crafts designer; William Morris. Oriental rugs were selected to work with individual seating arrangements within the room. A fine collection of original Saddler etchings owned by the club and scattered around the facility, were assembled and displayed within the panels of the perimeter walls. A decorative laylight and skylight was integrated into the south end of the room, to reintroduce natural light where windows had been removed for the previous addition. The laylight was designed with a repeating pattern of hand painted amber glass of historic Albany images from various sources.
In total, the West Lounge integrates many new and historic elements into a highly decorative unified design scheme, and is now a popular site for parties and receptions, both for club and public use.