In the 1960’s many of the apartments in the Dakota underwent renovations that did not value the original Victorian design. We were asked to restore a series of bay windows including shutters and frames. Lacking any drawings, we approached this more or less like an archeological study, taking careful measurements of what remnants remained and then commissioning custom knives to reproduce the shapes.
I remember near the end of the project, I was on a ladder adjusting the amount of effort required to open and close the louvers and was feeling very proud of our work. There was a woman who was tuning an outrageously beautiful harpsichord covered with precise, intricate, beautiful inlay in the same room. I struck up a conversation with her. “Are you a piano tuner?’” I asked., to which she replied, “Not really, I built these harpsichords and am tuning them as a favor.”