Remodeling and Home Design

Arcways Completes... of a kind "Six Story New York City Row Home Project"

Reprint of article from "Distinctive Products & Design" Fall 2000

By M. R. Allen

Distinctive Products & Design

At the Arcways shop in Neenah, Wisconsin, finishing touches are made to one of the curved stairways that will be delivered to the New York row home. The stairways possess hand carved custom balusters (spindles) and massive mahogany handrails. Notice how tight the inside radius of the stair is and how the handrail descends in a helical manner (twisting and turning as it drops down around a 180 degree turn). The dramatic twisting and turning of the handrail and stringers throughout six floors of descent will maintain a continuous free forming flow for the interior of the row home.

Arcways, Incorporated recently completed 5 monumental curved stairways for a customer who was renovating a six story row home in the heart of New York City. The size of the stair well opening (8 feet by 12 feet) presented some challenges for Arcways.

The well opening was basically a continuous shaft from 1st floor to the 6th floor of the row home. The proposed project was challenging due to limited space constraints, design and layout of 5 continuous stacking curved stairways from the 1st floor to the 6th of the home. Furthermore, the customer wanted to be assured that the outcome of the design would possess an ornate and extreme dramatic presence within what the customer called the "epicenter of their home".

After several weeks of design work, a layout of all 5 stacking curved stairways was completed and reviewed by the Arcways customer. Once demolition of the row homes interior was completed and the new interior rough walls and well opening were in place, Arcways was able to field measure the stair shaft area to ensure exact placement and proper fabrication of all 5 stairway units. The customer also challenged Arcways to profile and design a one-of-a-kind ornate carved baluster (spindle) and massive custom handrail. Tread and handrail material was made from genuine mahogany, while the rest of the stairway was to be painted.

The stairways took several months to fabricate at Arcways shop in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Four of the five stairway units rotate 360 degrees between floors and have as tight as a 6 inch inside radius. If you where descending from the 6th floor to the 1st floor you would rotate five times in a circle before reaching the 1st floor. Four of the stairway units had to be built in several pre-assembled sections in order to ensure the sections would fit through not only the front door of the row home but the narrow hallway area that leads to the stair well opening.

Recently, the stairways were delivered and installed. "To say the least, our customer was overjoyed with our service, quality, and creativity," says Tom Stilp, president of Arcways, Inc. Arcways, manufacturer of pre-assembled curved and spiral stairways for customers worldwide, will be celebrating its 35 year anniversary in January, 2001.