Photo Pool Challenge: Coal Chute Rehab


Brownstoner commenter, filmmaker and historic decor consultant Reno Dakota sent us photos of his latest project, revamping his cellar hatch, coal chute and cellar window wells. Originally, the hatch to the cellar of his Bed Stuy brownstone — you may remember the fabulous interiors from this New York Times feature — looked like any other, and the coal chute had been a “crumbling mess” for years. Also in need of attention were the window wells at the rear of the cellar, where the wood beams that span the opening and hold up the brick wall above “were rotten and bug-chewed down to nearly nothing,” as he put it. Reno designed an historically inspired hatch door, which Mario Metals fabricated and installed for $2,000, using hinges and handles from a catalog. Meanwhile, M. Hamid Construction tuck pointed the coal chute and the window wells and replaced the beam at the rear of the house for $1,500. (Above, one of the window wells with its joints scraped out.) Reno and M. Hamid have worked together on many projects, including restoring Reno’s brownstone facade, hardscaping in the garden, and a client project in the West Village a few years ago. You may also know Reno for his historic preservation work: He has spearheaded the effort to landmark Bed Stuy East. Click through for more photos, including the custom hatch door.

The coal chute door.

The rotten beams after they were removed.

Hamid and his brother tuckpointing a stone wall.

The finished custom hatch.


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