Before & After: The Landmark at Strong Place

This week, we’re highlighting one of our favorite projects – The Landmark at Strong Place. The adaptive reuse conversion of a mid-1800’s Minard Lafever Church into residential units won an AIA Brooklyn Design Award.

Our exterior renovation focused on respecting the historic importance of the fa├žade and integrating the surviving historic and new elements. Whenever possible, we preserved the original brownstone – adding new material only when absolutely necessary.

At some point in its history, the a brownstone coating was placed on top of the original brownstone material. Alongside expert craftsmen at Burda Construction, we strove to restore the original stone. We were able to strip the added layer while retaining some of the original stone, resulting in a mix between original and new elements.

The bell tower was both in tremendous disrepair and missing most of the windows. We carefully outfitted new glass to fit into the original openings, including the tower’s gorgeous petal windows. The uppermost bell tower became a place to hide the building’s air conditioning system.

Working closely with Tradewood Industries, we matched many of the original window details while improving functionality required for residential conversion. Arch-topped windows make this more difficult, but Tradewood was up for the challenge.

Maintaining the proportions of the door openings was important to preserve the character of the building. Using details and images, we were able to recreate the original 1800s door design.

An addition at the side of the building increased space and natural light for units at the Landmark. Creating an addition that was contextual with the original architecture without competing against it was important to the community. We chose to mimic the arch top windows, to tie them with the rest of the building. Using brick cladding for the new addition rather than brownstone signals the old vs. new.