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The Cast Stone of The Coignet Building: Hidden in Plain Sight

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About the Event


The New York Landmarks Conservancy, in partnership with The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen of the City of New York, cordially invites you to:

The Cast Stone of The Coignet Building: Hidden in Plain Sight

Mary Jablonski, President and Founder of Jablonski Building Conservation


Buildings can have stories hidden within the products used to construct them. When research is carefully undertaken, interesting stories unfold. One of the most intriguing examples of this is the Coignet Building in Brooklyn (pictured). In her talk, Mary Jablonski, President of Jablonski Building Conservation will discuss this unique building and the role her firm played in its conservation.

In 1873, the New York and Long Island Coignet Stone Company built offices along the Gowanus Canal to serve as an advertisement for the company’s cast stone products. It is believed to be the earliest cast stone building in the country. The building was a showcase for the firm with its veneer cast stone block surfaces having a variety of finishes; rusticated, smooth, beveled, and ornamented surfaces displaying the possibilities of the new cast stone material. The building miraculously survived and has become a significant element in the story of industrialization of building products and the growing importance of concrete. One hundred and forty years after it was built, the Coignet Building remained standing, barely.

When work began on the restoration of the Coignet Building in 2014, little was known about the cast stone. In her talk, Ms. Jablonski will describe what her team discovered and how the building was conserved and restored. The Conservancy recognized the building’s excellent restoration with its highest preservation honor, a Lucy G. Moses Award, in 2016.

Mary Jablonski is the President and Founder of Jablonski Building Conservation, Inc. and has over 26 years’ experience in historic conservation. She oversees the firm’s projects to ensure a consistent methodology is applied across projects and to maintain quality control. She has special interests in decorative finishes, early 1800s frame buildings, and modern materials including plastics. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and the Association for Preservation Technology and an adjunct associate professor in the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University.

Suggested donation:
$15 General Admission; $10 General Society Members and New York Landmarks Conservancy Members and Senior Citizens; $5 Students

Advance registration is required to receive the link to the Zoom Webinar platform.


Photo Credit: Trix Rosen

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