Residence of an Ambassador to the United Nations
New York, NY | 25,000 SF | 2003
The Fabbri Mansion, located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side Historic District, was purchased by the Embassy to be repurposed as the Residence of an Ambassador to the United Nations. The Mansion retained a remarkable degree of its original decorative finishes, fixtures, and equipment. The Embassy sought a house that would meet the 21st-century needs of its ambassador, including spaces for private quarters for the ambassador and family, staff offices for security, communications, and logistics, and space for entertaining, including provisions for extensive support functions. Moreover, the building systems were in need of upgrades as they had not been touched since the building’s original design in 1899.
Our renovation included three major components: upgrading the building’s systems and infrastructure; ensuring the interior met the program outlined above, and softening the overwhelming Beaux Arts details on the interior, which were incompatible with the aesthetic of the current ambassador’s home country. We upgraded all systems, including new power and signal wiring, new plumbing, and new HVAC. The Mansion was already divided into areas for private life, public functions, and support, so our team executed minor renovations including the conversion of the third floor (the original master bedroom) into a private 3-bedroom apartment for the ambassador’s family. Finally, we removed exuberant Gilded Age details including two marble blackamoors guarding the base of the grand staircase and a huge built-in organ in the music room, allowing the house to suitably represent one of the leading modern nations of the globe.
Restoration Awards, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, 2003