April 2, 2013 By Bill Parry
The wedding season is about to begin and the event planners at The Foundry [42-38 9th St.] are already starting to focus on the 2014 schedule.
The popular wedding locale is booked solid through the end of November. “We have an average of three weddings per week, sometimes as many as five,” said Julie Miller, the production and event manager. “Saturday’s are booked out but there are still some midweek dates available,” Miller added.
The venue, once the home of the Albra Metal Foundry, has been an event space since 2001, hosting weddings, corporate and promotional parties.
The building, which was erected 107 years ago, is one of the few old factories in Long Island City that has survived the wrecking ball. Most that date back to the turn of the 20th Century have been torn down.
Tim Du Val, an Australian native and landscape designer, acquired the property in 1982 after his landlord booted him out—unfairly, he said– of his former business location.
“The property was mostly abandoned,” Du Val said, as he recalled the condition of The Foundry when he bought it. He said that there were defunct vehicles and a mountain of debris everywhere. The neighborhood too seemed “abandoned,” he said.
Today, the neighborhood is bustling and the area is being redeveloped. “Who knew there would be a boom thirty years later,” he said.
Du Val spent two decades restoring The Foundry and recruited Monty Mitchell, a LIC resident, to assist him in designing the 2,000 sq. feet interior space that has drawn many couples to the venue.
The main hall contains metal work which towers over The Foundry, inspired by the Queensboro Bridge.
The cauldrons that once smelted metals have been turned into bathrooms. Ivy grows up the brick walls of the entire exterior.
The large complex covers three-quarters of the block and includes several businesses– including Du Val’s old landscape company– Plant Specialist Landscape Designs.
However, the renovations are still ongoing. “I have the complex nearly the way I want it,” Du Val said, adding, “Once the courtyard garden is complete, we’ll put in some porches and porticoes.”
The entertainment industry has also taken a shine to The Foundry.
Several TV commercials and scenes from popular sitcoms have been shot there—from shows such as Sex & the City, 30 Rock and most recently the HBO hit Girls.