New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



A Day at the Cloister

Jack Day, the super at the 143-unit co-op at 321 East 43rd Street, remembers it well. “The apartments were overwhelmed with heat,” he says. “They were very hot and dry.” Day and his staff of seven went to work, replacing every steam trap in every apartment.

“Once we did that,” he recalls, “we had the heat decrease a little bit. There’s about 300 radiators in the building.” Then they installed thermostatic valves on radiators to “give you better controllability of your apartment, [whether] you [want to] control it from 55 or to 78 degrees.”

Saving money and helping the shareholders has been Day’s mantra for the 22 years has worked at the building, which is known as the Cloister. “It’s modeled after an old-world church, it’s a little Gothic, and it’s unique in its own way,” he says.

“I started here at 18,” he adds. “I was a kid; I grew and matured and turned into a man here.” 

Concerning the heating problem he solved, he notes: “By having the staff install it, we saved the hourly rate of a plumber, which would have been about $400 to $500. The building only paid for materials and the parts – about $100 to $150.”

In addition, using a thermostatic valve keeps the apartments from drying out, which prevents the paint from cracking and peeling. That means “less repairs are needed to the old dry walls,” says Day. And that’s a win for everyone.

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