By Terry Trucco
They don’t hand out gold statues for Best Dressed Scaffolding. But if they did we’d vote for the courtyard at the New York Palace.
During the hotel’s $100 million renovation, set to conclude in spring 2013, the lower parts of the exterior are aproned, scaffolded and cocconed in a moody brown scrim that brings Christo to mind.
Much of the work centers on the historic Villard Mansion, the opulent McKim, Mead and White manse that forms the base of the hotel, and the Palace Gate, the hotel’s outdoor lounge in the courtyard. And that’s were things get interesting.
The courtyard’s scaffolding is transformed into an elaborate trellis, wrapped in leaves and flowers and peppered with tiny white lights. Café tables and chairs offer a place to catch your breath, have a drink, read the paper and admire the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral across the street (space heaters remove the autumn chill).
Against all odds, the lounge is inviting, scaffolding and all.