Greenpoint is full of beauty, from its stately brownstones to waterfront views. However, one of its most alluring spaces can be found at an unlikely spot—the very heart of the neighborhood’s industrial area.
The intersection of Morgan and Nassau Avenues is a dreary site, all steel and concrete. The warehouse of SMC Stone, a stone importer and distributor which started in 1990, is a fearsome steel building taking up nearly half the block, surrounded by a high chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. Beside the warehouse is the company’s nondescript office. Those passing by it would never imagine that some of the most beautiful architecture in North Brooklyn can be found within its walls.
Inside the office, past the desks and bustling employees, lie the company’s newly remolded 30,000 square foot showrooms, filled from wall to wall with striking artifacts and displays.
According to SMC Stone Sales Associate Kelvin Ye, “We sell stone products, like travertine and limestone [and] do both residential and commercial work. We deal with architects, builders, general contractors, and also home owners.” Correspondingly, the showrooms offer a view of anything a home or business owner would need to design their space, including Greek-style columns, huge mosaics, Oriental sculptures and glass art.
In the front showroom, customers can peruse varied floor tiles and slabs of materials like marble and granite, which are sourced from China. They can also view such fixtures as columns, fireplaces, and balusters and choose from a range of European or Oriental styles. Those looking for curios to decorate a home or office have their pick of Oriental figurines, ceramic bowls and pink quartz vases.
The back showroom is a meditative sanctuary. A bubbling stream winds through it, leading to a large gazebo. A small bridge arches over the stream, and two bubbling fountains are positioned at either end. The walls are painted with images of snow-capped mountains, and artificial trees spread their branches overhead. The room is also inhabited by statues of Buddha, plump cherubs, saints and animals such as elephants, horses, lions, and tigers.
Those who venture up a winding pink marble staircase to the second floor will enter the modern and sleek kitchen and bath design showroom. The bathroom area features different vanity styles, pedestal sinks, and deep baths. The kitchen section showcases buffet tables and granite and marble countertops, which can be custom-designed and installed by the company itself.
“We have measurement and installation services of our products upon customer request,” Ye said. While she admits that there are many excellent stone fabricators and installers in the market today, she believes that her company stands out for their “material quality, service quality, material availability, price, and reputation in a high-end market.”
Even if one is not a potential buyer at SMC Stone, visiting the showroom is a unique experience in of itself. The Zen atmosphere, with its calm waters and meditative artwork, provides a welcome respite from the busy streets of Greenpoint, and proves you should never judge a building by its edifice.
SMC Stone International
640 Morgan Avenue
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