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A Foundry on Jane Street: 2011 Village Awardee

doorknobs made by P.E. Guerin
Doorknobs made by P.E. Guerin

In these modern times, it’s hard to imagine that there could be a metal foundry located on the very residential Jane Street. Well, there is, though it’s hardly a recent addition to the block. Numbers #21-25 Jane Street is home to P.E. Guerin, which has been around for 119 years (!) and is one of eight recipients of a 2011 Village Award. The award is presented for keeping the increasingly rare craft of decorative hardware production alive and thriving on Jane Street for over a century, and will be presented at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s Annual Meeting on Monday, June 13th.

21-31 Jane Street

Even more remarkably, Guerin is the oldest decorative hardware firm in the country and the only metal foundry left in all of New York City! The building has been devoted to metal working since it was built in 1868 for the Bronze Works Manufacturing. Pierre Emmanuel Guerin opened his foundry P.E. Guerin in 1857 on Marion Street, then moved to Wooster Street and West 3rd before taking residency of the Jane Street buildings in 1892.

Today Guerin employs 60 artisans in the craft of metal working, a traditional and extremely time-consuming art form that requires highly skilled artisans. On the occasion of Guerin’s 150th anniversary, a short film was made about this  unique craft. View the film to learn more about the workings this very unique Village business.

We hope to see you at our 2011 Annual Meeting as we honor P.E. Guerin and other people and places that make the Village special. Keep checking Off the Grid for shout-outs to other awardees!

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