REI selected Schimenti Construction to build their first store in New York City. Located in the SoHo district, within the historic Puck Building, Schimenti completed REI's highly anticipated flagship store. The 39,000 square foot store, consists of three levels and includes a complete New York City bike shop.
Completed within 40 weeks, great efforts were taken to preserve and honor the historic building elements while meeting the needs of a modern retailer. Layers of wood, plaster and paint were carefully removed to expose yellow pine timbers, cast iron columns and arched brick ceilings. The exposed building elements were simply clear coated and sealed and their natural character displayed. Some of the unique components retained in the new store includes two nine-ton, 14- foot flywheels from steam engines that originally powered the printing press, cast iron columns, original chandeliers and lithograph tablets dating back to the early 1900s.
When working with historic buildings, the handcrafted nature of the original construction is drastically contrasted against the modular nature of modern construction. Schimenti worked diligently to modify these archaic building elements with modern means and methods without losing their intrinsic charm.
The result was a unique blend of historic and new.