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Recently, Kamen Tall Architects P.C. recovered and restored Keramos Hall, a rare architectural landmark in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Thomas C. Smith, a master architect, entrepreneur and innovator, designed and built the building in the late 1880s but, over time, its unique, eclectic features were damaged and altered until the building’s façade was utterly unrecognizable. The wooden frame was covered with an ugly, gray composite shingle siding, and the distinctive four-sided tower roof was removed.

Keramos Hall Before restoration, 2007. Photo courtesy of Kamen Hall Architects.

Keramos Hall Before restoration, 2007. Photo courtesy of Kamen Hall Architects.

Keramos Hall after restoration, 2013, photo by Michal Nowicki.

Keramos Hall after restoration, 2013, photo by Michal Nowicki.

The architects carefully replicated the building’s missing features using historic photographs and physical remains such as “ghosted” profiles and remnants of historic fabric. Today, the building belongs to Keramos LCC, a family-owned company. The lead architect, Joanne Tall, collaborated with members of the Keramos company family spanning three generations. The family hoped that the restored building would represent their legacy as a family committed to improving the community and street culture of the neighborhood where they grew up.

Keramos Hall detail, 2013, photo by Joanne Tall.

Keramos Hall detail, 2013, photo by Joanne Tall.

Keramos Hall detail, 2013, photo by Joanne Tall.

Keramos Hall detail, 2013, photo by Joanne Tall.

This year, the New York Landmarks Conservancy has awarded the Keramos Hall restoration project with its highest honor, the annual Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award.  The award ceremony will be held on Monday, April 29, 2013 in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall.

Keramos Hall at night, 2013, photo by Michal Nowicki.

Keramos Hall at night, 2013, photo by Michal Nowicki.

 Brooklyn, greenpoint, restoration

2 Responses
  1. The Artpologist Reply

    In a city that is ever changing, it’s refreshing to see a major restoration project like this. Thank you for sharing this. Wonderful photographs!

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