Circle Tours

Tour of Restored Engelhardt Addition, Eberhard Faber Pencil Company


Engelhardt Addition, Eberhard Faber Pencil Company is now home to Kickstarter (photo Scott Henson Architect, LLC)


Engelhardt Addition, Eberhard Faber Pencil Company is now home to Kickstarter (photo Scott Henson Architect, LLC)


Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory - Kent St and West St looking SE, 1880

October 30, 2014

The Conservancy was pleased to offer its Professional Circle members a tour of the recently restored Engelhardt Addition, Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, which is now home to Kickstarter, an online funding platform for creative projects. Architect Ole Sondresen, who designed the new office space, led the tour.

Click here for photos from the tour.

Eberhard Faber founded the pencil company that bears his name in 1861, moving to Brooklyn in the 1870s. One section of the “Addition” was part of Faber’s original factory. The central section dates to 1895, when architect Theobald Engelhardt designed a German Renaissance-Revival style edifice. The last was constructed from 1898–1904 in the German Romanesque-Revival style. In the mid-1980s the building’s upper stories and interiors were demolished, leaving only battered brick facades, enlivened with remnants of dentil courses, header arches at the windows, and corbelling.

In 2011, the property was purchased for the development of Kickstarter’s new office. The exterior walls were all that remained at this 19th century factory when they adapted the space, building offices within red-brick facades that reflect over 100 years of history. The adaptive reuse project was designed using reclaimed materials with sustainability as the goal. The open planted courtyard, second floor and rooftop gardens help to cool the building.

The Conservancy was pleased to award this restoration a Lucy G. Moses Preservation award in 2014. The reuse of the Engelhardt Addition is a vital contribution to Greenpoint’s renaissance. As newer companies migrate to this neighborhood, projects such as this unusual restoration will encourage rehabilitations that pay attention to historical accuracy, connecting Brooklyn’s industrial heritage to its innovative future.

Many thanks to Ole Sondresen and Kickstarter for the tour.

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Are you interested in joining the Professional Circle?

Throughout the year, Circle tours go behind-the-scenes of some of New York’s most interesting historic properties. Some tours require hard hats to visit projects during restoration, while others showcase completed restorations of commercial buildings, residences, museums, churches, and synagogues. On occasion, conservators, engineers, and craftspeople open their studios to our Circle members.

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For more information, contact Jenna Smith at 212.995.5260 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).