Architect Who Pioneered Loft Living and the Preservation Movement to Speak at Greenwich Historical Society

Joseph Pell Lombardi Joseph Pell Lombardi will provide highlights of his dazzling portfolio in worldwide historic preservation in his keynote address: Cabins, Houses, Lofts, Skyscrapers & Castles at the Greenwich Historical Society’s Landmarks Recognition Program reception on April 28. The reception will be at Greenwich Country Club, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  A champagne reception will precede the formal program.  Tickets are available online – reservations are required. Reserve at: or call 203/869-6899, ext. 10.

At the right place at the right time for making his mark:

  • In the 60s, the bold, modernist trend was in full swing, but Lombardi was more interested in historic preservation and old buildings. Considered an odd ball and even heretic by industry peers, he was an early proponent of the historic preservation movement, now recognized as course study at major universities.
  • In the 70s, he pioneered loft conversions of commercial buildings in lower Manhattan. When South of Houston St. wasn’t fashionable, Lombardi had the vision to convert fading, yet magnificent commercial buildings—true architectural treasures—to prized living and retail spaces that led to a budding art scene and the newly stylish SoHo, Tribeca and Flatiron districts. Lombardi has completed some 150 loft conversions and he was the first to convert a skyscraper – New York’s iconic Liberty Tower– into residential spaces, a trend that is accelerating with new technologies that enable more flexible ways of working.

“Joe Lombardi’s passion for preserving historic properties is especially close to our mission and hearts,” said Greenwich Historical Society Executive Director and CEO Debra Mecky. “His insights into the art and joy of preservation through his exquisite body of work will be especially meaningful as we kick off Greenwich Preservation Month: This Place Matters in May.”

Lombardi will showcase the National Historic Landmark Armour-Stiner (Octagon) House in Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, one of the most visually unique homes in the world and the only one known to be built in the form of an ancient Classical temple; and the Chateau du Sailhant, a dramatically situated thousand-year-old French château-fort, which recently completed a 10-year restoration.

The Landmarks Recognition Program is an annual initiative that recognizes historic properties for their design excellence and value in preserving Greenwich’s unique architectural heritage. Plaques will be given to four properties and Preservation Leadership Awards will be presented to Martin and Anna Waters and the Greenwich Point Conservancy for the restoration and adaptive use of the Feake-Ferris House, noted as the oldest house in Greenwich and one of the oldest in America.

The Historical Society is grateful for the support and leadership of Landmarks Recognition program committee, including Chairman Robin Kencel, John Dixon, Nils Kerschus, Rose Scott Long and Amanda Martoccio. Ex officio Selection Committee members include Debra Mecky and Christopher Shields, the Historical Society’s Curator of Library and Archives. Trisha Estill contributed the photography unless otherwise noted.