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Drab Greenpoint Building Restored To Fanciful 1887 Design

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For decades, the building at the corner of Manhattan Avenue and Milton Street was just another drab, vinyl-sided pox upon Greenpoint. But four years ago, the owners decided to restore the building to its original wooden design, and now, the hardwork of Kamen Tall Architects has finally been revealed. Now known as Keramos Hall, the building was designed and built by Thomas C. Smith in 1887, then some time in the latter half of the 20th century, its lovely architectural details were covered with grey vinyl siding.

When the vinyl was removed, much of the original composite shingle siding and decorative details remained, but they were very deteriorated and some things were missing, like the flared four-sided tower shown above. Project leader Joanne Tall worked with the family to research the building's original design to accurately restore the structure.

Work included rehabilitating the wooden siding; reconstructing the tower, bracketed cornice, window crowns, and pediments; weather- and bird-proofing the exterior; repairing the roof; and adding new facade lighting.

To say the work is well-done would be an understatement. In a neighborhood sorely lacking in aesthetically pleasing architecture, Keramos Hall is a historic gem. The New York Landmarks Conservancy has recognized the restoration work with the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for excellence in historic preservation.

· Keramos Hall Preservation [Kamen Tall Architects]
· Forgotten Greenpoint: Keramos Hall On Manhattan Ave [Greenpointers]