Gowanus’ Mysterious Landmark, the Coignet Building, Turns a Whiter Shade of Pale

Photo by Miska Draskoczy

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Gowanus’ long-lived eyesore is no more — the landmarked Coignet Stone building at 360 3rd Avenue has had quite the facelift, and now its once crumbling facade gleams nearly as white as the adjacent Whole Foods’ exterior signage.

Coignet Stone Facade

The building last week. Photo by Hannah Frishberg

Although Whole Foods does not own the once-crumbling landmark, it promised to restore the historic building as part of its deal to build on the site (although it took two finings from the Landmark Preservation Commission to start).

The 1872 building was one of the first in New York to be built of “artificial stone,” or cast concrete. It was a showroom and sales office for the Coignet Agglomerate Company of the United States, which sold artificial stone.

Brownstoner columnist Montrose Morris (Suzanne Spellen) took a deep dive into the history of the building here. We’ve also covered its recent ups and downs extensively.

In the mid-20th century, the building was covered with red and white brick veneer. In April, the scaffolding and netting came down briefly, and Brownstoner got photos of the building’s original concrete facade, not seen in decades.

coignet stone

The building’s facade in April. Photo by Steve Sherman

Now a final white coating — most likely stucco cement — has gone on. With restored steps and entryways visible through holes in the scaffolding, it is clear that renovation really is coming along.

Coignet Building #gowanus #brookyln in 2005. Way, way before #wholefoods

A photo posted by Brownstoner (@brownstoner) on

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The building before restoration. Photo by Hannah Frishberg

Coignet Stone Facade

The interior before restoration. Photo by gothamr.

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The steps before restoration. Photo by Hannah Frishberg

[h/t: Curbed]

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