Shorthand for “north of Madison Square Park,” NoMad is a neighborhood comprising the four-by-five-block area in Manhattan at the confluence of the iconic Flatiron and Midtown districts. It was once a popular residential and hotel sector, especially during the early 20th century, and the local architecture showcases the best of the Gilded Age and Beaux Arts styles. This is especially true of the restored NoMad Hotel, originally built in 1903 and located at the corner of 28th and Broadway, but the structure also represents the new wave of commercial attention that has come to define the historic area.
The Sydell Group, founded by Andrew Zobler and Jeremy Selman, with Jake Lamstein as the vice president of development, acquired the 133,000-square-foot hotel in 2008 and hired French architect and designer Jacques Garcia to implement a lifestyle-centered design schema similar to the one he did for Hôtel Costes in Paris. In the NoMad Hotel, which includes 168 rooms, 14 suites, a library lounge, a boutique, and a restaurant with a menu prepared by chef Daniel Humm (the 2012 James Beard winner for Best Chef), Garcia incorporated reclaimed maple hardwood floors, vintage handmade Heriz rugs, intricately patterned linens from Sferra and Frette, and eclectic finishes that foster a sense of lush refinement.
Nancy Smith, senior project director and lead project manager for the Parker Company, one of the hospitality industry’s leading furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) procurement companies, worked with Garcia on the project. She managed the sourcing, purchasing, and installation of materials into his design plan. “Every hotel that we engage in has a large element of creative application, sourcing, and problem solving,” Smith says. “But the NoMad was actually fun. Every day I worked on the project for its three-year duration, I loved every minute of it.”
While drawing inspiration from Parisian style and filtering that iconography through Garcia’s discerning eye, Smith was creatively challenged to use the Parker Company’s diverse resources to produce unique furnishings for each individual room. “Even before the hotel opened, it was generating a lot of excitement because it was gentrifying an area that hadn’t ever seen a level of property like this,” Smith says.
Officially opened in 2012, the NoMad Hotel has already received rave international reviews, and it marks a new chapter for the boutique hotel industry, both in Manhattan and well beyond New York City. ABQ
“This [lounge chair] was designed from a reference image by Jacques Garcia. Lee Industries produced a replica, with a mohair cushion, distressed leather backing, and nail-head studs.” —Jake Lamstein
“Artistic Frame produced the headboard as well as the paravent with custom fabrics, replete with a door that opens to a water closet in the room.” —Nancy Smith
“This desk dates from the 1930s and was purchased for €3,000 at the Marché aux Puces in Paris. The reproduction was modified for hotel use and supplied by Eric Brand in quantity, along with other items for the project.” —Nancy Smith
“These sconces were one-offs from the early 1900s, sourced from an antique market. We worked with Hallmark Lighting, who was able to duplicate the oxidized brass and special glass on these fixtures.” —Nancy Smith
“The flooring is heart of maple and was reclaimed from a factory in Atlanta, with a vintage of around 1903. Tall Cotton Supply repaired and refinished the wood.” —Jake Lamstein
Tall Cotton Supply
“All of the fabrics in this room are very high-end and European-made, utilized on Jacques Garcia-designed chairs by Interna.” —Nancy Smith
Interna Furniture Design Ltd.
“The art showcases pressed herbs and butterflies behind glass, and these pieces were purchased from Deyrolle, a French company.” —Jake Lamstein
“Jacques Garcia designed these lighting fixtures, made by Zonca in Italy.” —Nancy Smith