Technical Assistance

Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building

Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building
Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building
Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building
Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building
Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building
Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building
Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building
Adaptive Reuse for Landmark Hecla Iron Works Building

The Conservancy is advising on the proposed adaptive reuse of the former Hecla Iron Works Building in Williamsburg – a technically challenging restoration. The current owners hope to turn the building into a hotel. Among the many issues will be the conservation of numerous large, original steel windows and the treatment of a very special cast iron façade. The building is an individual landmark located at 118 North 11th Street.

The building was originally the headquarters of the foundry that supplied ornate cast iron features and fittings to many New York City landmarks including the Dakota Apartments, the 14th Regiment Armory, St. Regis Hotel, and B. Altman’s, to name a few. Founded by brothers from Iceland and named after an Icelandic volcano, the Hecla company strived to produce the finest and most innovative architectural cast iron products in the city.

The building was in a way an advertisement for their manufacturing acumen. The four-story cast iron façade is unpainted. The cast iron was treated with a special high heat process that gave it a velvety black patina that is rust-proof. This is the only building in NY known to have the entire façade treated with this process. Another very unusual feature of the building is the interior floor framing which consists of elaborate intersecting vaults reminiscent of Gothic architecture. The vaulting system was designed to maximize the strength and load bearing capacity of the floors. The project is in the early design stages.