Gut Renovation of Estate Condition Prewar Penthouse on Riverside Drive

5 Riverside Drive, NYC

Gut Reno of UWS Prewar Penthouse with Terrace Remodel at 5 Riverside Drive 

By Paula McDonald Design Build & Interiors

The extensive gut renovation of a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom estate condition penthouse required approvals for prewar landmark window replacements and multiple terrace doors; opening walls, the installation of central air-conditioning. And that was just the beginning…

5 Riverside Drive, Prewar Renovation Overview

Type: Gut Renovation of Estate Condition Prewar Penthouse Apartment

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Duration: 18 months (including 10-month wait for building approvals)

Rooms: 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom

More Details

The Full Story Behind this Prewar Landmark Reno & Terrace Remodel at 5 Riverside Drive, NYC

Board Approval required Landmark Window Program approval, including engineered Central AC, Acoustical Sound Reports, 200 AMP Electric Upgrade the 21st Floor, filing DOB Permits, Terrace repair and exterior windowsill repairs and waterproofing, and a repair of the existing working fireplace. This estate condition penthouse apartment required ripping all walls to change kitchen, moving bathrooms over dry areas, bedrooms and closets, through the wall AC Condensers, Central Air Handler and duct locations, a Washer/Gas Dryer closet, leveling subfloors, replacing all heating systems and new radiator covers, entrance doors and more. Complete rewiring, dropped ceilings, soundproofing, all new plumbing, wall changes, closet changes, new door openings, and all new door/door hardware.

Refinished existing Herringbone floors and replaced to match from wall changes throughout, an new steps to Terrace Doors, New Fireplace surrounds and hearth, along with opening the kitchen and foyer to create a great room set the stage for both light and rooftop views to bring the outside into this stunning PreWar transformation! It feels like were floating in the clouds.

Coupled with extremely difficult approvals by management and a complex design build gut renovation, we were able to transform this penthouse apartment into an amazing PreWar oasis!

Adventures in Design Build – Prewar Apt Reno Before & After Videos

For those of you who love the ups and downs of renovation transformations, don’t miss my prewar project playlist featuring before and after videos of my most complex prewar apartment renovations. 

If you love this Gut Renovation of an estate condition prewar apartment on Riverside Drive as much as we do, book a renovation  consultation to see what Paula McDonald Design Build & Interiors can do for you! 

Additional Renovation Features & Project Details

Required Approvals:

  • Landmark Window Program Approval
  • Engineered Central AC
  • Acoustical Sound Reports
  • 200 AMP Electric Service Upgrade to the 21st Floor
  • Terrace Repair
  • Exterior Sills Repair
  • Waterproofing
  • Repair of Working Fireplace
  • Filing DOB Permits

Wrap-around Terrace Remodel:

  • Repair of Terrace to tie in new Landmark Doors, Door Steps and Lighting, Irrigation system
  • Replace/tie in new copper flashing and waterproofing at walls and steps on Terrace
  • Installation of Landmark Windows
  • Exterior Window Sill Replacement
  • Masonry repair for Window/door replacement
  • Addition of New Textured granite Steps to Terrace Doors

Kitchen Remodel:

  • Ripping Out All Walls to Renovate Kitchen
  • Opening Kitchen & Foyer
  • Opened Wall between Kitchen and Living room for light from North and East windows and doors to Terrace


  • Leveling Subfloors
  • Refinished Existing Herringbone Floors
  • Tied in new flooring to match old where walls moved or changed

Gut Renovation Features:

  • Moving Bathrooms Over Dry Areas
  • Complete Electric Rewiring
  • All New Plumbing
  • Soundproofing
  • Waterproofing
  • Reconfigure and install new Closets
  • Installation of Through the Wall AC Condensers
  • Central Air Handlers in ceilings and dedicated closet
  • Install new Duct Locations and returns
  • Add /install new Washer / Dryer Closet and gravity drains
  • Replacement of All Heating Systems
  • New Radiator Covers
  • New Entrance Doors & Hardware
  • New Door Openings, Doors & Hardware
  • Dropped Ceilings and LED recessed lighting
  • Vented Hood in Kitchen and Bath Exhaust Fans
  • Radiant Heat flooring

Upgrade & Remodel of Existing, Working Fireplace

  • New Fireplace Surrounds
  • New Hearth