One of the biggest jobs involved with our renovation was this horrendous kitchen. Unchanged and uncleaned for over 50 years, nothing was salvageable. The first task was to get it emptied out, but even then, the windowless 6’x7′ room wasn’t quite a site to be seen. We decided the only way to go was to remove the wall that separated the kitchen from the foyer/dining room area. We submitted the plan to the building Co-op and spent months trying to convince them that there is no reason we shouldn’t be able to take down a non-supporting interior wall.
The problem was that on the left wall, there is a building intercom. Can not be moved. Until later this year, when they dismantle the whole intercom system in favor of calling peoples landlines or cell phones from the lobby (what a novel idea, right?). So the plan is that in a year we will take out the top half of the remaining wall. We couldn’t extend the cabinets out that way because there’s a closet, so this doesn’t matter, except it looks crazy unbalanced right now.
We also decided to drop the ceiling about a foot so we can recess lights. I know, taking a small space and lowering the ceiling height isn’t ideal, but it will brighten it up a ton and we’re not allowed to burrow in the ceilings.
You may wonder why it was such a big deal to remove this wall and why we can’t touch the ceilings. Well. This is why:
Our building, like many of its generation, is built entirely out of concrete. The exterior walls, the ceiling, and even the interior walls are all pure 100% concrete. I have heard that this was supposed to be for sound insulation, but you can hear loud conversations in the hallway so that idea is out. New theory: architects in the ’50s were bonkers. PS. I’m so glad they’re retiring the intercom system because I was about to tear that thing down on my own– it’s a “how ugly can you make a phone” contest winner, I bet.
Regardless, seeing the half-wall down makes me super giddy. I can’t wait to see the cabinets in place (next week, hopefully!).