PHOTOS: Inside A 19th Century Factory In Greenwich Village That's Still Operating

factory hamblett pe guerin greenwich village


Nestled in the heart of Greenwich Village, across from designer stores and juice bars, is New York’s last remaining metal foundry. It is a treasure trove of decorative hardware, ornate fixtures and fittings for some of New York’s most historic and beautiful buildings.Take a Tour in Photos and Video >

“It felt like entering another world,” remembers architect Robert Farrell, of his first visit to the factory and showroom on Jane Street.

The four story building has been the home of the family business since 1892. It has survived many economic downturns, changes in styles and the invention of electricity (they still have an original elevator that runs on DC current).

Started by French immigrant Pierre Emmanuel Guerin, the company still remains in the family today. Andy Ward, Pierre Emmanuel’s great grand nephew, runs the business today alongside Manager Martin Grubman and four French cats that keep the factory rodent free.

Products are made on site; travelling from the downstairs pattern room to the top floor foundry, then working their way down via various departments to be fit, plated and polished. The methods used are almost identical to those used 150 years ago.

The four story factory on Jane Street, Greenwich Village, where the company has been based since 1892

Workers in the top floor of the foundry prepare the weekly pour into the molds

Foundry staff carefully pour the hot molten metal into large sand molds, a manufacturing method used for 150 years

Glowing hot; the molten metal reaches the correct temperature and the slag is removed before pouring

Manager Martin Grubman and the foundry staff await Friday morning's pouring on the top floor

The filing department, packed full of machines, where it is difficult to find the workers hidden amongst the metal

Engrossed and surrounded by products, a worker applies the finishing touches

Traditionally skilled workers from all over the world work at the company, painting and polishing products and keeping an ancient craft alive

Architect Robert Farrell admires a product, recently removed from the mould

Cabinet knobs are cleaned by hand after emerging from being plated

Finishing touches; the products move down the floors being casted as chiseled to perfection by a team of skilled workers

A worker polishes a faucet as it journeys down the factory levels before finding its new home

Owner Andy Ward, sits at his desk in the downstairs showroom space, surrounded by the shiny displays of sample products

Manager Martin Grubman, explains the company process; it all starts here in the pattern room, full of thousands of patterns and drawings

One of many pattern books, charting the changing styles of decorative hardware, and the flourishing history of the company

Towering stacks of pattern boxes line the walls of the downstairs pattern room

Drawers bursting with hardware patterns cover the walls in the pattern room

A treasure trove of home ware, the pattern room holds new and old gems waiting to find a home

A treasure trove of home ware, the pattern room holds new and old gems waiting to find a home

Manager Martin Grubman awaits a client visit in the downstairs showroom

Maria, one of the factory's cats, sits on top of the papers on manager Martin Grubman's desk

Here is a more famous historic factory

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