The neighborhood of Gowanus is not usually the first that comes to mind when one thinks of Brooklyn. This lesser lauded neighborhood is a strange and beautiful collision of old and new, artistry and industry, harshness and beauty. In this scrappy neck of the woods, gritty meets gorgeous, and Brooklynites make lemons into some serious lemonade. The storied Gowanus Canal, lumber yards, and a grab bag of functional and abandoned factories share the stage with adorable row houses, charming coffee shops, muted, romantic cocktail bars, up-and-coming galleries, and warehouses converted for creative industry. Somehow, when everything seems to have been done in Brooklyn, Gowanus still feels fresh, authentic, and pioneering, with just the right balance of grit and glamor.
Tucked away in this funky jungle is a gem of a space, one of my personal favorites as a NYC wedding photographer to date. The Green Building is a self-titled “industrial chic warehouse wedding venue” that keeps it “simple and thoughtful.” They tout a “no rules” policy (well, except for one – no open flames – they would rather you didn’t set the place on fire), and explain that “the rustic beauty of [their] event space allows you to dress it up as little or as much as you’d like.” The main spaces offers 4,000 square feet of open area, with 17 foot exposed beam ceilings, original brick walls, and floor to ceiling glass doors that open onto the 2400 square foot courtyard. Bathed in light, but grounded by deep earthy tones and textures, the space is airy, without being sterile or cold. Photography here is an absolute pleasure. It features modern amenities such as an indoor/outdoor sound system and staging platform for DJs and bands, mobile bars, central heat and A/C, wifi, and a projector. At the same time, the original intrigue of the space is preserved, giving guests a charming, rustic aesthetic while delivering the luxe, full-featured experience they would expect from an esteemed NYC wedding venue. The space encapsulates the marriage of old and new that Gowanus is all about.
As an event photographer, I have visited countless wedding and event spaces in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and The Green Building was an absolute standout for me. When I am photographing, I look for authentic moments, real love, glimpses of happiness, beautiful gestures, and charming details. The Green Building really captures, for me, this spirit of authenticity and warmth that I am after. This is a venue for the couple who has good friends and good taste – they are down-to-earth, but stylish, and they want a beautiful, heartfelt experience for themselves and their friends. They prefer, over the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, to keep it “simple and thoughtful.” They prefer a more approachable warmth to old-world ornateness or haute modernism. They want a beautiful space that offers just what they need, without extravagance or opulence. And that is the strength of The Green Building. It strives for success, not excess, and leads us back to the heart of the matter. This great spaces emphasizes not itself, but rather, who is in it – and it’s the people and emotions that make the room a destination. The seasoned Green Building Staff know this well, and make it their sacred duty to set the stage for every event to be a perfect day.
April 25, 2018