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Mentioned in this Article:
Roberta Benzilio

Roberta Benzilio
Executive Director of Development Marketing

Stephen G. Kliegerman

Stephen G. Kliegerman
President of Development Marketing

Shelley Wasserman

Shelley Wasserman
Brooklyn Heights Office

Stefani Shock

Stefani Shock
Midtown Office

NY1

Building Conversions Often Look To Properties' Past

Many building developers are finding innovative ways to incorporate old architecture into new designs. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

Though building conversions often chuck out the old to bring in the new, many developers are now working to incorporate a building’s history into its new design.

“Developers are trying to find properties they can reuse and repurpose and have architectural value in it,” says Roberta Benzilio of Halstead Property Development Marketing.

Because of this, there are condos in old factories, schools and even churches, which makes for interesting architecture.

Kirkman Lofts in DUMBO, for example, was an old soap factory. The developer cleverly used the factory’s original silos as a centerpiece of the design.

“There are large cylinders, and they ran from the basement to the fifth floor of the building,” explains Colin Carpenter, the project manager for the lofts. “There were six of them I believe, and they were sliced horizontally to work with the apartment plans. We exposed as much of the silos as possible, including in the corridors.”

In the corridors, each door is located within a curved section of one of the silos. Pieces of metal drums can also be seen as design accents within the apartments, and some were even used as walls.

Aside from design, they also found practical ways to recycle. All the kitchen countertops are made from reclaimed wood from the original factory.

Over in Cobble Hill is another unique conversion. The Landmark on Strong Place turned a 19th century gothic church into 21st century modern living.

Despite the cathedral exterior, the building is a condominium with outrageously high ceilings, magnificent windows and one-of-a-kind layouts that were all created from the open space of the chapel.

“They took the old parts of the church — the alter, the pews — they took a lot of the woodwork, they preserved and restored all of the windows, there are custom handmade windows, and they brought it all together into 2011,” says Ellen Gottlieb of Brooklyn Bridge Realty.

Though now may appear to be a time when much of NYC’s history is disappearing, it seems developers are finding ways to take a building’s past into the future.

Monday, June 13, 2011