Given how fast Crocs have taken over the toes of the world, the construction of the brand's Soho superstore feels like an eternity. But don't get your plastic clogs in a bunch, there's a reason it's taking so long: The preservation and re-construction of 143 Spring Street, Crocs's soon-to-be home. Contractors are set to wrap up their end of the job by mid-week, and at that point only a mix of city bureaucracy and paperwork will remain between footware fetishists and their comfy Crocs. In the meantime, we stuck a toe inside the Crocs lair, where some Federal-era surprises nicely contrast with sleek, modern additions. Who knew that the new Crocs store would be the biggest architecture-meets-retail event since the Upper West Side's Apple Store? Probably nobody that will end up shopping here.
Stepping through the all-glass entry along Wooster Street, and working past the busy crew overseen by Elan GC, there's exposed brick galore, climbing up the full height of the two-story 1818 structure. Now nary a whiff of BBQ, served here for many years, can be found. Instead, a big staircase leads up to the mezzanine, for open shopping fronted by wide panes of glass and a great spot for awaiting the return of Chanelistas down below.
Where new materials meet old, the team from William Architect has designed a glass wall, cut tight to fit the zig-zag of restored clapboards and completely enclosing the rebuilt north wall, windows and all. Inside, along the old structure's east wall, a slew of exposed old bricks are tucked between hefty hand-hewn wooden studs and beams. Many of those timbers, said to be taken from ships back in the days of yore, show deep marks from axes and chisels. But salespeople will probably tell tourist kiddies that they're really signs of gnawing reptilians, chewing away on the guts of their swank new home. Unless they don't want to give them nightmares.
· Cartoon Crocodile Puts Cutesy Face on Soho's Crocs Behemoth [Racked NY]
· Crocs coverage [Curbed]
· 143 Spring Street [William Architect]
· Historical Restoration - Soho NY [Elan GC]