The latest news on New York architecture.

  • A Brief History Of The Fleming Smith Warehouse

    A Brief History Of The Fleming Smith Warehouse

    Located on the lower west side of Manhattan, the Fleming Smith Warehouse is situated on the southeast corner of Washington and Watts Streets in the neighborhood now known as TriBeCa. Prior to its transformation into a commercial center during the mid-19th century, TriBeCa was among the first residential neighborhoods to develop beyond the boundaries of colonial New York City, with development beginning in the late 18th century.

    In 1891 Stephen Decatur Hatch, a prolific and respected architect who would go on to design such important structures as the Princeton Club (1891) and the Former New York Life Insurance Company Building (1895), was contracted by Fleming Smith to design the warehouse in an amalgamation of Romanesque Revival and neo-Flemish architectural styles. Neo-Flemish design elements were popular during this time period and often freely combined with features of other European architectural styles as a nod to Manhattan’s Dutch roots. It originally functioned as a shoe factory and a storehouse for wine.

    The most pronounced Romanesque elements of the Fleming Smith Warehouse façade are its rusticated stone base, segmental arches, and symmetrically grouped windows. The ground floor is characterized by roughly hewn stone: granite at the base with sandstone above, topped with a stone cornice.  The upper floors transition to yellow brick with red brick quoining at the corners with keyed enframements bordering each window grouping. The two upper floors are divided from the rest of the façade by an intricate sandstone water table.

    The Watts Street façade is characterized by a central, highly ornamental copper-trimmed gable flanked by two crow-stepped gables at each corner, intricate wrought iron balconies and two projecting dormer windows clad in decorative copper. The Washington Street façade is crowned with a fanciful copper-lined stepped central gable above a large segmental arched window flanked by two more projecting copper dormers.  The central gable is adorned with the initials “FS” and the date “1891,’ fabricated in copper.  The peaks of each dormer were once adorned with large decorative copper finials, duplicates of which are currently in the process of being fabricated and restored at all former locations. This Warehouse, with its handsome combination of architectural elements and its picturesque silhouette, is a visually striking building and enhances the commercial area surrounding it.

    In the late 1970’s, the Fleming Smith Warehouse became the first commercial building in TriBeCa to be converted for residential use. In 2005, a complete façade restoration was performed by Scott Henson Architects, LLC.

    If you own an historic building, please contact us to learn more about how we can assist you with repairs, restoration and preservation.

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  • The Benefits of Renewable Energy Roof Design in NYC

    The Benefits of Renewable Energy Roof Design in NYC

    Raising awareness of the harmful effects of using our natural resources in the large amounts that we do has become the norm in today's society. People have changed the way that they use energy--including how they design buildings. Renewable energy roof designs are incredibly beneficial to both the environment and to property owners. Areas like New York City have been taking advantage of these roof designs and the effects of doing so are proving to be endless.

    Renewable energy roofing is typically constructed with solar panels. These panels collect the sunlight throughout the day, which drastically cuts the cost of using electric lights in houses, stores, office buildings, and even hospitals. Studies have also shown that this method has improved the general mood of humans as a result of the vitamin D produced by the sun. This, of course, stimulates productivity in the workplace and improves the overall quality of living for all people.

    It is no secret that the use of solar panels drastically reduces carbon footprints, as well. This renewable energy has also proven to reduce the heat island effect experienced in urban areas. This effect is when urban areas are significantly warmer as a result of human activities. Reducing the effect allows areas to remain populated and busy without further harming the environment.

    Financially, this style of roofing saves property owners heating and electric costs, which is crucial in snowy, rainy New York City. Renewable energy roof designs also increase property value and are generally appealing in all aspects.

    For more information on green roofing, renewable energy roofing, or our other services, please contact us today.

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