Four buildings in Brooklyn to be honored for outstanding preservation

Three cheers for four Brooklyn buildings!

Four fixtures in the borough will be honored for outstanding preservation with the 2016 Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards on Thursday, April 28.

The Coignet Stone Company Building, Floyd Bennett Field Hangars 1 and 2, the Old Brooklyn Fire Headquarters and the Piros Residence will all be honored at the 26th annual ceremony celebrating excellence in preservation.

“The Lucy G. Moses Preservation Awards are a great way to celebrate wonderful preservation work, wonderful buildings and the significant history of all of New York City,” said Andrea Goldwyn, director of public policy with the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which presents the awards.

Each of the four Brooklyn properties is unique and reflects the borough’s history or aesthetic.

The Coignet Stone Company Building (360 Third Avenue), for instance, was a “pioneering example” of concrete construction, according to the Landmarks Conservancy. The building was designed by William Field and Son in 1872 and is said to possibly be the earliest cast stone or even concrete building in the country. The building has seen work to its stone blocks and the removal of cementitious paint. It was also covered in a limewash coating which protects the historic masonry and blends previous repairs into the original work.

Floyd Bennett Field, Hangars 1 and 2, (50 Aviation Road), are part of the Gateway National Recreation Area and are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Hangar Row – which consists of eight Art Deco hangars constructed in 1931. According to the Landmarks Conservancy, great care was taken in an effort to restore the hangars to a historically accurate yet functional state. National Park Service (NPS) architects oversaw the project – which included new natural gas facilities – and it was completed last year.

The building at 365 Jay Street, also known as the Old Brooklyn Fire Headquarters, now houses 18 units of permanent affordable housing and a community space. Converted to apartments in the late 1980s, the preservation and re-use of the building was an answer to the displacement issue facing low-income tenants affected by the MetroTech development.

Over in Crown Heights, the Piros Residence is one of three adjoining Italianate/New-Grec houses built circa 1874 in the neighborhood. Current owners Nina and Attila Piros, with the help of Gormanschweyer Architects, restored the building completely to its original brownstone appearance – a façade that they later found out was wood made to look like brownstone. The pair decided to stick with the historical preservation , and agreed to have the wood-clad façade restored, according to the Landmarks Conservancy.

Other award recipients throughout the city include: 36 Gramercy Park East in Manhattan; Manhattan’s 369th Regiment Armory Building; the Central Park Obelisk; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan; St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan; St. Paul’s Chapel and Churchyard, in Manhattan; Bronx’s High Bridge and the Staten Island Museum.

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel will receive the Preservation Leadership Award.

“The Lucy G. Moses Awards celebrate exceptional preservation projects and people,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. “This year’s projects range from the iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral – to the unusual – the Central Park Obelisk.” Breen called Diamonstein-Spielvogel “one of the icons of the preservation movement,” and noted that she “spearheaded citywide celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the City’s Landmarks Law.”

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