A newly renovated wedding arch in Manhattan is showing some of the rustic charm of its era.
The newly remodeled wedding arch at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 46th Street is on view for the first time since it opened in the 1920s.
Renters and families can view the arch on the first floor of a building where the bride and groom will be married.
“It’s a lovely piece of art that has been preserved, with the help of the community,” said Jennifer Bensalem, senior project manager at the Preservation Alliance.
It will remain on display until January, when the arch will be moved to the main building, which has been converted into a boutique hotel.
Its location at the intersection of Fifth and 46nd Streets is a major boon to the local economy, said Bensallem, who has been in the preservation business since 1994.
She said the arch is a perfect fit for the new hotel, which is slated to open next spring.
Bensalestem said she’s been keeping up with the project since its opening, and it’s the first one in the city she’s seen in nearly 50 years.
Her group started the project to help make the arch a better destination for weddings, she said.
Architects at the Heritage Preservation Alliance have worked to preserve the structure, including making it smaller and more intimate.
But the new owners say the arch needs a little more love.
They’ve removed the glass and installed new decorative features and a metal frame.
That makes it more difficult to see and to navigate the arch, said Jennifer Wahlstrom, the architect of the new renovation.
In addition, the arch was not designed to handle wind.
And it was not built to be a tourist attraction, said Wahlström, who said the new design was inspired by an old movie and TV show.
After the arch opened in 1919, it served as the hub of New York’s “barnet district,” which included a number of weddings.
For many years, the wedding arch was located at the end of a pedestrian path and had a plaque saying it was designed by the famous architect, Albert Kahn.
A new design by architects at the city’s Preservation Alliance was the inspiration for the renovated arch, which features a metal arch on two sides that can be easily reached with a cane.
When the new architects installed the arch in 2010, the owners asked for permission to put a plaque on the side of the arch.
Wahlstrom said the owners said they wanted the plaque to read, “Wedding Arch: The Architect’s Dream.”
The arch has not been on view in New York since the 1920’s, when it was the location of a wedding at a former hospital.
New York City was still recovering from World War I, and many people didn’t want to go to weddings in crowded, hot weather, said David Pimentel, the preservation coordinator for the Preservation Center.
Pimentel said the museum wanted to make the new arch available to the public.
At the same time, he said, the city had a lot of planning to do.
With the preservation efforts of the city and the Preservation Trust Alliance, the new owner, New York City-based Pimentels family-owned company, has decided to make a change, Pimenteling said.
The new owners hope to open the new restaurant in February, he added.
This is the first new wedding arch on view since the renovation was completed in 2010.
(Photo: Courtesy of Preservation Alliance) The new owners, which includes a family friend of the Bensals, also are planning to renovate the old building in which the wedding is to take place.
Their plans include installing new decorative elements, including new bronze and metal frame, glass-covered woodwork, and new stained glass windows.
As for the arch itself, it’s not the best vantage point, said Chris Gagnon, the senior curator of historic preservation for the city.
He said the building is not really that interesting for weddings because it has no structure, no story, no history.
There are many reasons why the arch can be a valuable piece of historic property, he explained.
If you take it to the top of the building, the view is great, but it is a bit more challenging for someone to navigate through the arch than to go down the stairs.
So, if you’re looking at the arch from the bottom and it has a story, then it’s a great place for the bride or groom to walk down.
Other highlights include the brick fireplace, which will serve as the bride’s bedroom, and a bronze sculpture of a black cat that was created by artist Louis Fowlie.
On a recent visit, the bride came across the sculpture and asked the groom to take it home.
Gagnon said the city has a