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.
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.
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.