Re: An Architectural Travesty 02/01/06
posted by John Martini
Nick: It was basically an economic decision.
The operator of the Cliff House needed a certain amount of retail space to operate at a profit. Also, he was paying for a large percentage of the renovation work. However, if the building had been restored exactly to its 1909 condition, about 30-40% of his floorspace would have disappeared once the additions were removed. Cost-analysis showed that a pure restoration wouldn't give him enough operating space to stay in business.
That's why a new annex was designed; it allowed the 1909 building to be preserved almost exactly in its original configuraiton while the "lost" square footage was recouped by adding a new north wing.
I can't speak to the design of the new wing, but that was the rationale for its construction.