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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
December 2013
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: 54 Below: A Sultry Broadway Supper Club in NYC

Architectural Firm of the Month: Richard H. Lewis, Architect

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Wishing Our Readers
a Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy,
Healthy & Prosperous New Year!
Architectural Firm of the Month: Richard H. Lewis, Architect


The firm of Richard H. Lewis Architect is a sole proprietorship, founded in 1982, to provide a full range of architectural services. As principal, Richard H. Lewis takes a hands on approach to his work, overseeing the design and management of each project in the office. The office has successfully completed scores of projects and  has built a strong reputation for responsiveness to clients' design needs, budgets and schedules.

The firm's work includes restaurants, high end retail stores, commercial and industrial bakeries, office projects, non profit offices, apartment building renovations, private town houses, individual apartment renovations, new house construction and house additions.
For more Information:

In the heart of New York City's theatre district only a few blocks from Times Square and just beneath street level there is a jewel of a cabaret-style restaurant with an atmosphere as warm and tantalizing as the performers who grace its stage. This is 54 Below, designed by architect Richard H. Lewis who worked closely with Tony Award winning set designer John Lee Beatty on the interior. The venue opened in June 2012.

Architect Lewis explains how it all began. "The owners are Broadway producers Tom Viertel, Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, and Steven Baruch. They wanted to create a nightclub or cabaret where theatre people could go before and after the theatre to hang out and listen to music and hear shows."

54 Below is located on West 54th Street, below what was once the nightclub Studio 54 that was popular in the 1970's. Lewis explains, "They found this space underneath where Studio 54 used to be and it was a completely raw cellar space that didn't have good exits and every pipe in the building ran through it at all different angles and all different heights. When they showed it to me and talked about doing a cabaret in the city, that meant it needed a lot of work because there are so many regulations for a space that is going to be a public assembly. You have to have special fire alarm systems, plus that was compounded by the fact that it would need a full working kitchen in the cellar which needed all the services. It was a very challenging project from a physical point of view."

The nearly 2,000 square-foot space also had special acoustic requirements because of the type of musical venue it was going to be, so Walters-Storyk Design Group was brought in as the acoustic consultant. With a busy commercial lobby above and subway corridors on either side of the space, there were concerns that ambient noise would make its way into 54 Below. However, after a comprehensive consultation of isolation issues was done, the team found that very little isolation would be necessary. Walters-Storyk Design Group was very inventive. The team created interior design elements that served as acoustic absorption elements, such as custom banquet seats and custom diffusion panels covered with stretched fabric and mounted in filigreed frames that aesthetically enhance the interior while simultaneously 'tuning' the space for listening clarity.

The interior of 54 Below is decorated with rich shades of red and brown mixed with wood and leather, creating a look that is both timeless and elegant, and is reminiscent of a 1920's speakeasy. Fanciful artwork adorns the walls and shaded lamps light the booths. The space glows with a warmth that invites patrons to prepare to take in great food and great music in a lavishly comfortable setting.

Lewis explains, "I worked on this project with Broadway set designer John Lee Beatty, who I had also done Bond 45 with for Shelly Fireman.  At 54 Below, John Lee Beatty and I worked really well together and really closely together. We created the whole plan and he and I worked together to get all the moldings, fabrics and so forth. He was largely responsible for the design and picked out all the finishes. We worked together to get everything done, including building the stage and doing the whole package. I've had so much restaurant experience in my career, so another element was the food service aspect of the project and how to integrate that into the cabaret and make it all work seamlessly."

Other people who contributed to the successful design of 54 Below were Tony Award-winner Ken Billington who worked on lighting and Tony Award-nominee Peter Hylenski who worked on sound.

54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue, which is a perfect location for the venue. There are up to three shows nightly as well as a late night lounge. Some of Broadway's brightest talents perform nightly on the club's cabaret stage. Combining high quality entertainment with its world class dining, visiting 54 Below is an experience one can only have in New York.  

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) 

The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), a Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects, is committed to the promotion of all residential architecture based on architectural content irrespective of style. For more information visit:  

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit: 


Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit: 


Architectural Record Continuing Education Center

Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture 

CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit: 

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit: 


The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.





Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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