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
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
The filing department, packed full of machines, where it is difficult to find the workers hidden amongst the metal
Traditionally skilled workers from all over the world work at the company, painting and polishing products and keeping an ancient craft alive
Finishing touches; the products move down the floors being casted as chiseled to perfection by a team of skilled workers
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
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.