a Manhattan loft pioneer (of a different sort) remembers, records

a mutual admiration society is revealed
If you are a fan of Manhattan lofts (that’s everybody, right?), you are familiar with the work of architect Joseph Pell Lombardi. He worked on the conversion or construction of the Mohawk Atelier at 161 Duane Street, the Atalanta at 25 N.Moore Street, the (other) Ice House at 27 N. Moore Street, the Juilliard at 18 Leonard Street, the United State Sugar Warehouse at 79 Laight Street, Pearline Soap at 414 Washington Street, the Grabler at 44 Laight Street, and that is just (some of) his projects in Tribeca. All told, he claims more than 150 (present and former) commercial buildings and 10 new buildings in lower Manhattan in his long career. I mentioned this because I was startled thrilled to see an email from him this morning, linking to his firm’s website.

Thrilled because, in addition to pointing me to his list of loft projects, he pointed me to a monograph with his very personal and very comprehensive review of the history of Manhattan loft development since the 1950s (pdf, here [6:30AM 6.7.12 fixed link]). I read it immediately, then saved it on my iPad to digest further in small bites, repeatedly. At 11 pages of detailed history, it is an extremely rich narrative, from one of the pioneering architects who has worked in Manhattan loft conversions and developments since before the flood. (If there is another one with as long a history, I apologize for not remembering who that is.)

Whatever your interest in Manhattan residential real estate, or New York City commercial history, or Soho, or Tribeca, or or or … you will learn something you did not know from this essay. My exposure to Manhattan loft neighborhoods did not begin until the mid-1970s, but I can relate to many of the stories and perspectives that Lombardi shares.

how brown is my nose?
As if sending me the links were not enough, he also said in his email that he is a daily reader of Manhattan Loft Guy, which he finds “first rate” (as people who have gotten emails from me today already know). Be still, my heart!

Not to go all sycophant on ya, but I am just a real estate agent with a blogging habit, putting stuff out there (pretty much) day after day because I love lofts and look at listing and transaction data every day. It is great to get clients from this effort, of course, but it is rather humbling to think that someone who has done as much as Lombardi has in creating and preserving Manhattan residential lofts is a fan. (Blushing)

Today is a good day.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012


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