Walking through the lobby and first-floor common areas of Seapath Tower is drastically different for the building’s residents after craftsman builder John Buechele and his team completed the first renovation of the space since it opened in 1973.
Knocking out walls, moving bars, tearing out flooring and reconfiguring the layout were all part of Buechele and property manager David Foster’s plan for the first-floor entryways and gathering space.
The result is what Buechele called Shaker style with a refined nautical feel. Two of the materials used throughout the space, old-growth cherry wood and stainless steel, were chosen to emulate the classically sleek lines of the sailboats docked outside the building’s door.
“I took a lot of inspiration from the boats in the marina out there,” Buechele said. “I tried to look for something that was going to be close to mahogany, which is used on a lot of boats, and if you look at the boat rails and the cherry it is pretty close. Then you see the stainless steel on the boats and the same thing here.”
No corners were cut in preparing the custom cherry handrails, moldings, cabinets, windowsills and wainscoting panel borders as Buechele applied seven coats of an oil and marine varnish mix to each piece, and added a teak oil finish.
The old bar was one of the only focal points in the room as it was attached to a floor-to-ceiling cabinet that divided the middle of the room. The new quartz bar is still a focal point, but it has been relocated to the far side of the space to open the floor plan and allow more of the marina and Motts Channel to command the view.
“That was the big ah-ha moment that opened everything up,” Buechele said.
Other new features include full LED lighting, sand-colored ceramic tile floor, all new pieces from Rose Brothers Furniture, original photography wall art and lightly shimmering sky blue stucco walls.
Seapath Tower property manager David Foster said a change in the property’s governing board renewed the push to renovate the first floor.
“The board changed three years ago with a whole new dynamic and they set out to get the money and get it done,” Foster said. “This is what they envisioned and that is what they got.”
Rick Pendal’s father was one of the first to buy into Seapath Tower before it was constructed, and during a stop through the first floor to admire the renovations, Pendale said the building now looks better than it ever has.
Buechele’s work on the interior is not the only renovation work the tower has seen lately, as the entire exterior of the building was repainted and the landscaping refurbished.
The whole package has helped bring the glamour of Seapath back, Buechele said.
“The building is iconic and one of the prominent things you see when you come on the beach,” he said. “It has given the tenants, especially the older ones, a legacy because they have made this an amazing space they can enjoy and their kids can enjoy after that.”