Lucy Moses Award: The Coignet Stone Company Building

by Don Friedman on May 6, 2016

The 2015 Lucy Moses Award that I want to talk about the most is the Coignet Stone Company Building. The Piros Residence is nice, but it’s one rowhosue among many; St. Paul’s Chapel is nice, but it’s famous and has been well maintained. The Coignet Stone building, on the other hand is odd enough to rate an entry in the Atlas Obscura and the recent restoration project brought it back from decades of semi and full abandonment to a better future. (Click on the picture for context from Brownstoner. The building behind Coignet is a Whole Foods Market that occupies the space where the Coignet Stone Company factory once stood.)

“Coignet Stone” is an early form of precast concrete, and the New York and Long Island Coignet Stone Company was founded in the 1860s to create and sell the material. The headquarters building looks much like a row house, but was built specifically to showcase precast. the exterior walls are brick back faced with Coignet Stone – the “red brick” visible in the pictures taken before the restoration is fake, merely stucco covering the original precast panels. Our work – performed in close coordination with Jablonski Building Conservation and Stone & Lime – was to design ways to reattach the old precast veneer, attach replacement veneer, and stabilize the back-up brick.

In the 1870s, even a factory’s office building that was designed to be show off the company’s product was a dignified presence on the street. We are proud of the restoration result and offer our congratulations to the project team.

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