P. E. Guerin’s Weekly Alchemy
Lower Manhattan’s manufacturing industry isn’t completely gone. A few blocks from the Gansevoort Hotel and the shops on Bleeker street, a weekly industrial ritual happens every Friday on Jane Street. Workers on the fourth floor of the P.E. Guerin factory gently tip 2000 degree molten metal into a cast and begin the long process of creating some of the world’s most sought after decorative hardware.
I was invited to attend a “pour” and recently went on a cold snowy day. I could not have been more excited. It was a brief window into an amazing craft.
Since 1857 (and 1892 on Jane Street) P.E. Guerin has been producing high-end hardware like faucets, door knobs, and drawer pulls. Each piece P.E. Guerin produces goes through numerous laborious and time consuming steps. It’s not easy and requires a highly skilled labor force, but it’s a recipe that’s worked for the company for over 150 years.
Interested in the buying a P.E. Guerin product? They’ve recently put their entire 1914 catalog online (Yes a 100 year old catalog), though in an effort to avoid competitors copying the company’s decades-old designs, you’ll need to go through a light screening process just to get access.
P.E. Guerin has about 60 employees and remains family owned. Here’s to another 150 years.