My parents have had this plant probably around 15-20 years now, during which it has spent its time slowly growing upwards while the bottom leaves drop off and don't regrow. It's traditionally been kept indoors during winter and moved to an enclosed atrium during the summer, the latter of which may have encouraged the upwards growth.
Anyway, this past year they did not move it into the atrium as it has too unwieldy to move, and also to attempt to remove the suspected atrium's upwards encouragement.
So the basic questions are
- What is this plant?
- Is there a way to encourage it to regrow lower leaves / stop only growing upwards?
- If not, can a cutting be taken to start fresh? And if so, what would discourage this type of growth pattern?
It does look like theres another issue here - new leaves being curled/withered - but I think that's a symptom of lack of direct sunlight due to its incessant need to grow upwards.
This image was taken from above the plant from the stairs.