I recently came across an article in the
New York Times online called:
By MICHAEL TORTORELLO
I thought it was pretty neat-o so I decided to share some it.
"TO get to the top of the world, Petra Franklin Lahaie ushers her two young daughters and their girly bikes through a set of heavy bronze doors, greets the 24-hour elevator operator in the Prussian blue uniform, rides up 35 stories past mostly vacant office suites, debarks next to an observation deck and Chinese-themed banquet room, passes through a portal marked “private residence,” climbs two stories into a neo-gothic pyramid and enters a penthouse apartment."
"The 1914 Beaux-Arts tower, with its white terra-cotta cladding, was an instant landmark — the tallest building on the West Coast at the time and, by many accounts, the fourth tallest in the world. But Mr. Willis said that no records endure to say who lived in the caretaker’s apartment atop the tower."
"As late as the 1970s, the rent was just $300 or $400 a month, and possession would pass with the key from friend to friend, many of them “writers and artists."
"WHEN Ms. Franklin first visited the Smith Tower in 1997, the apartment had been empty for more than 10 years — and for good reason. “There was a huge water tower that was being taken out,” she said. “And there were big piles of concrete. There weren’t stairs, there were ladders to get from floor to floor. And you’d be living among amazing dust. When it rained, the rain all came in. It was like standing inside of a river.”
"What the Smith Tower really needed, Ms. Franklin decided, was a newly expanded two-story dwelling. Two bedrooms and two baths could be squeezed onto the 37th floor, and an open living room/kitchen/dining room would fill the 38th. Naturally, this fantastic 1,750-square-foot apartment would need an occupant: herself."
Check out the rest of the article HERE.