This weekend I had the good fortune to be invited to a New Year’s brunch at a gorgeous apartment in the Hecla Iron Works building on N. 11th St. in Williamsburg.

They made most of the amazing iron ornamentation you see adorning banks, hotels (the St. Regis), churches, statuary and other buildings all over New York City and the rest of the country, such as the lamps on the Williamsburg Bridge. They are also famous for their beautiful and fireproof staircases.

The factory was closed in the 1920s and rented to artists in the 80s (and featured in Nest magazine – shoutout!) Now, it’s still lovely and impressive with a small stage and grand piano, wooden wall with vintage electronics displayed, statuary and gloomy Gothic fireplace. The building was designated a NYC landmark in 2004 as a special example of the industrial architecture of Williamsburg.

I know we have a lot of ugly siding-covered row houses and this monstrosity but the industrial buildings like Domino Sugar and the Pencil Factories of Greenpoint are really pretty great. Let’s hope more can be saved.

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