10 March 2010

Crocs Store Looking a Little Over-Scrubbed

For a long time there, 143 Spring Street, a wooden Federal-era building in SoHo, was looking pretty forlorn, which nobody taking care of the beauty. Then, recently, the Crocs corporation, which has leased it, announced an ambitious plan to spruce it up and bring it back to form.  

I checked it out this week. It certainly is seeming better. But it's looking a bit antiseptic, a tad too scrubbed clean. Is it me, or does that brick wall look like it could be on the side of a brand new condo in Queens? Maybe that's the original brickface, after all the coats of paint were stripped from the facade. I don't know. But it doesn't look two centuries old, that's for sure. 

And then there's the Crocs sign. Nothing to be done about that.


Amalgam said...

The face bricks on the Spring Street façade demonstrate the many alterations the building has endured incorporating salvaged bricks originally sourced from the Walter A. Underhill Brickyard, Croton Point, NY, and the Hutton Brick Company, East Kingston, NY. More than half of the restored façade uses the original face bricks, which were recycled as they were in several previous reconstructions occurring between the Civil War and the mid twentieth century.

The Spring Street Façade having been found unstable by the Department of Buildings during repairs was carefully dismantled and many of the original bricks retained for reuse.

The contrast of the new and old bricks tells the story of the neighborhood and of how buildings endure – reassembled and restored.

Lori said...

I can also tell, though, that there was a fair amount of serious masonry cleaner (muriatic acid) used as I can see the efflorescence on the original bricks. The mortar used to re-point the bricks is inaccurate for the time period as well, making the building look a lot "squeakier clean" then an historic building normally would after restoration. The original mortar would not have been this bright, white. And frankly, I'm surprised that Landmarks let it by without a fuss. Then again, no I'm not that surprised.