2011 Unsung Heroes of the Upper West Side Awardee
Cutsogeorge Tooman & Allen Architects
Architecture is an international language.  No extensive lessons are necessary to understand how the individual pieces of our neighborhood’s built environment–demure sandstone facade, punctuated by a stoop, accentuated with an oriel window, emphasized by a dormer window–come together and speak to our history in a way that we can all understand and appreciate!

One of the Upper West Side’s most whimsical and diminutive hideaways, Pomander Walk, is a perfect case-in-point!  This past Monday, a Brazilian-language television network, TV Globo, filmed a featurette of Pomander Walk (air date TBD).  It seems that a member of their news team was so intrigued by the anomaly of these rows of cottages nestled amid high-rise residences that they wanted to share the architecture (and the story behind it) with their viewers!  
Reporter Jane Caffrey speaks with architect Dan Allen about Pomander Walk.
Who better to share the tale of Pomander Walk than architect Dan Allen of Cutsogeorge Tooman & Allen Architects.  CTA Architects, along with RCD Restoration, teamed up with the committed residents of Pomander Walk to restore these amazing buildings just a few years ago.  And wouldn’t you know it, their admirable efforts were acknowledged with one of LW!’s Unsung Heroes of the Upper West Side 2008 preservation awards, the Building Rehabilitation Award.  Stay tuned for an update on when the TV Globo interview with Dan Allen will be available online.

Pomander Walk sets the stage for Dan Allen’s TV Globo interview.  How fitting!
A mini-history of Pomander Walk (from LW!’s 2008 awards ceremony program):

Described by New York Times architectural historian Christopher Gray as a “village-in-a-city,” Pomander Walk offers a seredipitous respite in the densely-developed cityscape just off Broadway.  Following a style that can only be described as Theatrical Tudor Revival, this utterly unique enclave of 27 tiny houses arranged along a mid-block garden path owes its name and old-world charm to a popular 1911 play.  Indeed, its recent rehabilitation was so conscientiously conceived, so meticulously directed and so deftly performed as to be a work of theatrical art in itself.  Original materials–including the houses’ wood doors and galvanized metal “half-timbering”–were retained, treated and restored rather than replaced with replicas.  Historic colors were carefully matched.  Pomander Walk’s board of directors, preservation committee and residents worked in concert with Cutsogeorge Tooman & Allen Architects and RCD Restoration to do the right thing by this once-folly, now beloved, landmark.

Interest in Pomander Walk and the impeccable restorative work by CTA Architects couldn’t be more perfectly timed!  In less than one month (on Tuesday, June 7th) we will again celebrate CTA’s excellence in building restoration for their transformative work at the American Youth Hostel.  We hope you’ll join us!
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