Our Proud History
We Started As a Furniture Refinishing Shop
After opening and successfully operating a small furniture refinishing shop in Warwick NY in 1972, we were called to refinish pews from a local church whose pews had been damaged by fire.
The pews were ten feet in length, while our equipment was only six feet long. These were the flow over stripping systems available at the time and would suffice for removing finish from furniture.
After struggling with these oversized pieces, it was determined that we had to extend the existing trays to do this work. This worked well and opened our eyes to the pew refinishing niche which, at the time, was unheard of as a clear business practice.
After successfully refinishing these first eight or ten pews, we decided to pursue this market and did so with an initial handmade mailing to one hundred nearby churches.
From there, we landed our first job and quickly needed to make plans. A rented barn served as our large workshop, and a 20-foot tray was fabricated in a sort of antiquated fashion. But it all worked, and we refinished pews at night with my fellow firemen as newly recruited “refinishers”.
After a year, we built our first six thousand foot building, followed two years later with a six thousand foot addition. At the time, we felt this was a state-of-the-art facility.
Refinishing Project Expansion
As relationships grew over the next five or ten years, we got into large on site refinishing projects in Manhattan, the largest of which was refinishing six courtrooms at the Federal Courthouse in Foley Square. Soon to follow was our largest single project to date, the complete refinishing of all of the woodwork in the restored U.S. Trust Company building at 9 west 54th street. This was followed by restoration of the Indian Museum in Bowling Green, The University Club, and other work in major New York City Landmarks.
The Keck Group turned our total effort to the pew refinishing business in 1998. After many years, we became the prime pew refinishing company for the Archdiocese of New York, Long Island and Newark NJ, among others.
Establishing our Woodworking Facility
We outgrew our facility once more and moved to a 15,000 sq. ft. building in Middletown NY. We completely modified it for the refinishing of church pews, and we remained at that facility until 1998.
Finally, in 1999, our last move to our latest facility took place and we found a home in our block building, which is sprinklered and alarmed for our future. The buildings were purchased in 2004, each with 11,500’ of floor space. The pew building has an additional 1500 sq. ft. of storage space, and a two thousand foot balcony for long term storage. The adjoining building was leased to Catholic Charities in 2012 and we expect them to be long term tenants.
Cathedral Projects and Current Happenings
Beginning in 2013, in addition to our forty to fifty churches having their pews refinished, we completed the first of eleven cathedrals beginning with the pews at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark NJ. Then came St. Patrick’s and The Cathedral Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s in Manhattan , followed by Cathedrals in Arlington VA, Rockville Centre NY, Bridgeport CN, and Holy Cross in Boston .
Now, after completing two major refinishing projects in Manhattan, Trinity Church at Wall Street and Broadway, and All Saints, 86th and Lexington, we are excited to enter the beginnings of many contracted projects throughout 2020.