Uncovering A Hidden Gem
Before Harry Knowles opened his restaurant 1956, there stood in its place, a smaller three-room supper club named The Moresque, whose original arched windows can be seen in the archive photo above.
But with The Manor’s success, the business grew–and along with it, the building itself. Expansion meant that some of the exterior arched windows would become part of an interior wall to be closed away and forgotten as rooms were constructed on both sides.
One of these rooms would become “The Carolina Room” where countless parties and wedding receptions at The Manor were hosted over the years.
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF KERI KNOWLES|
The original Carolina Room, whose space has been repurposed to accommodate a more centrally-located ladies lounge, open parlor, and convenient elevator access.
As part of The Manor’s new broad-scoping renovation plans, engineering and architectural needs for improvements dictated that this room would be repurposed and reconfigured to provide for new amenities for our guests and accommodate the addition to the building of a centrally located full-service public elevator as well as an easily accessible, lavish new ladies lounge, along with other enhancements. Though these changes meant the loss of one of the revenue-generating rooms for The Manor, the Knowles family decided that providing additional amenities and improving the overall guest experience was more important.
The sacrifice of this room also furthered The Manor’s overall goal of providing more exclusive experiences for our guests, focusing on other event spaces in more private areas of the building, including the newly constructed Garden Room, which now stands as the only private party space on The Manor’s second level.
In the process of deconstructing the original room to make way for the changes, The Manor’s renovation crew uncovered the original arched windows, still in tact and in place inside the walls. Inspired by this discovery of The Manor’s past, the Knowles family, known for their appreciation of history and tradition, along with their architects and design team, worked to find a way to incorporate these relics into the new aesthetic.
Thus began the process of careful removal, disassembly of the window panes and frames for refurbishment, and the work of reimagining their use.
The three salvaged windows were subsequently drawn into the design scheme to be reset in the general location where they stood hidden for decades, but now to be visible to our guests as design elements in the newly-created parlor and public space.
To improve the aesthetic of the windows, part of the process included a multi-step silvering method of hand-mirroring panes of antique glass individually.