The 75-foot wide building at 20 Greene Street is in the Soho Cast Iron Historic District. It is subject to the requirements of the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. The 6-story building was constructed circa 1880 for light industrial use. Its expansive interiors currently are used primarily as luxury lofts, though some of its former use as artist space is still in evidence.
The facade is constructed of ornamental cast iron, a 19th-century building system composed of mass-produced components that were originally selected from a catalog. Over the years the building has settled at its ends and middle, causing extensive damage to the cast iron. Poorly repaired and restored elements have added to the building’s troubles.
ACHA, in collaboration with McKay Architecture/Design, has been engaged in the restoration of the facade after having completed work in 2012 on the cast iron steps at street level. Currently inferior repairs and broken elements on the facade are being removed. The remaining structure will be carefully restored to its original condition, following stringent guidelines provided by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Cast iron elements that are beyond repair will be re-cast in a foundry using the same 19th-century methods for casting as were used at the time the building was made.
While much of ACHA’s work is modern in its design and construction, the Greene Street project is indicative of the versatility of the firm’s capabilities and commitment to address a wide range of projects.