Look Inside the Crumbling Coignet Building


An anonymous urban explorer sent us these photos of his trip inside the landmarked but dilapidated Coignet building at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, which Whole Foods is supposed to begin restoring soon. The organic food giant had promised to finish restoring the building before it opened its doors in Gowanus, but construction may have further damaged it. The Landmarks Preservation Commission fined Whole Foods $3,000 in December for failing to maintain the property.

When we stopped by last month, the building was open to the elements, with broken windows accessible on the ground floor and what looked like new structural cracks at the base of the building.

Here’s the explorer’s description of the interior:

“For the most part the interior is characterless in terms of details and finishes, but it’s really neglected, which isn’t justified for it being such a badass New York City landmark. There’s a pretty cool spiral staircase that goes from the basement to the second floor and in the basement there’s a walk-in vault. For some reason I spent most of my time down there — a combination of incredible low light and the feeling like it was the only part that didn’t have a cheap 1950’s renovation. Didn’t Whole Foods make a deal whereby they can straddle the shit out of the Coignet Building as long as they help to restore it? Some of the floors and parts of the staircase are collapsing from water damage so clearly something needs to be done. I would hate to see this follow in the footsteps of Admiral’s Row.”

Click through the jump for the rest of the photos!

City Approves Permits for Whole Foods to Restore Coignet Building [Brownstoner]
Coignet Building in Bad Shape [Brownstoner]
Photos by Gothamr

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