The Stunning Restoration of a 129-Year-Old Yacht Club by Lucas StudioDesigner Joe Lucas jumped at the chance to help revive his childhood summer refuge
When he wasn't aboard a sailboat, Joe Lucas would spend his childhood summers learning the nooks and crannies of the historic New Jersey yacht club where his family had a membership. "I knew the back halls and secret rooms from running around and exploring and performing in the end-of-summer variety show as a kid," he recalls. "Think Dirty Dancing, but more wholesome and with a whole lot more madras and Lilly Pulitzer." But years later, after Hurricanes Irene and Sandy tore through town, the structural integrity of the idyllic waterfront club was in peril. Serendipitously, Lucas had his own interior design firm, Lucas Studio, by that point; he immediately volunteered his talents for the major overhaul of the building that had housed all his youthful adventures.
The club, founded in 1888, had grown steadily over the last century, sprouting east and west extensions. When Lucas's firm was brought on to the restoration project, plans had already been made to replace those poorly designed additions with wings that would include a kitchen, offices, a bar, and a dining room—all with top-notch views of the bay. Of course, the foundation also received a makeover; the building now sits about ten feet above the bay on a layer of concrete poured over 60-foot steel pilings.