Need Advise on Interior Wall Removal

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Drew

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Hi all! Wife hired an interior decorator and I volunteered to do the work. Have never really tried anything like this but so far so good. Next project is to remove part of a wall between the stairs and a small alcove on the second floor (two story house), essentially turning it into a loft that overlooks the front door, foyer entry and the living room. I have identified the support beam within the wall running from the roof to the ground floor and will not go beyond that point as the remainder of the wall beyond attaches to the exterior, and that's just too much for me. The wall currently has crown molding at the ceiling. Limited wiring and no plumbing involved. Would like to eliminate the upper half of the wall from where it starts on the second floor to the support beam, about 12-15 feet. Need advise on:1) easiest way to remove the wall, 2) any additional stabilization necessary for remaining half-wall?, 3) What to do about crown molding and ceiling, and 4) suggestions on how to finish the top of the remaining half wall. Appreciate all the help I can get.
 
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