PizzaMoto found a century-old coal oven hidden in an abandoned Brooklyn storefront. Help us return it to its former glory. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on April 23, 2013.
About this project
A few months ago we got an exciting tip about a turn of the century oven hidden behind a wall in a forgotten store-front between Carroll Gardens and Red Hook Brooklyn. We arrived to discover a gorgeous, incredibly well preserved, coal-fired oven, similar to those featured in New York’s landmark pizzerias. We enlisted the help of a local mason, whose specialty is the restoration of these Italian baker’s ovens; when we introduced ourselves in front of the oven his first words were, “You struck gold!”
PizzaMoto’s business has always orbited around the elegance and simplicity of our hand-made ovens. We thrive in the space where tradition meets innovation; vintage vehicles and up-cycled materials have always been our passion and our calling card. And we love Brooklyn! We live here, started our business here, found our footing here; some of us got married and had children here as we watched neighborhoods change around us and the borough's role in setting cultural standards explode. This oven is a part of Brooklyn's history and we are honored to be its next caretaker, bringing it into Brooklyn's future. Restoring this vintage oven, and building a shop around it, is our greatest aspiration and the most ambitious step we have undertaken thus far. We are nervous and excited!
We hope you will join us in this effort! We are seeking the $50,000 it will take to restore the oven to its former glory. After five years of designing, building, and fixing our mobile ovens, we have the expertise to act as construction manager of the renovation. We have enlisted talented artisans to re-cast the iron furnace door and a mechanical engineer to license and build a custom flu riser. We will complete the masonry restoration personally.
We will use the oven in a slightly different manner than its original owners who built it to burn coal. We love cooking by fire for many reasons - we love the smokey kiss of char, the sustainability of the fuel, and the dance of working with such a shifting, living heat source. You have to coax and nurture a great cooking fire, but when you do it will return your efforts with stunning perfection as well as surprising variation. Building a fire with wood inside the oven cavity will allow us to bake the Neapolitan style pizza for which we are known. We are also dedicated to the notion that this oven will once again bake naturally risen loaves of hand-made bread, as it did when it was first built. We invited our colleagues at Erie Basin Breads to use the cooling oven in the wee hours of the night, while the store is dark, to bake their gorgeous levain loaves for their bread CSA.
We are excited to build a community of supporters who will help re-light the oven's fires after decades of lying dark. Please join us!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we will face is making sure the oven meets current environmental and building standards. Because the oven is so old, the Department of Buildings will require us to pass muster as if we were building a new oven - nothing will be grandfathered in. The first, and most important, way we will honor this requirement is by restoring and re-pointing all the brickwork inside of the oven. We will also build a brand new, 2-story chimney that passes NY's current solid fuel device code. The oven has to pass a battery of tests from various New York City management agencies governed by the Department of Buildings including a "sight and smell" emissions test. We are working with a talented and experienced NY State Professional Engineer to generate and license technical drawings of the oven as is it now and as it will be, once it is brought up to code - the tests will largely be making sure that our oven construction adheres to the parameters of his approved plans. We have a wonderful team of engineers, contractors, and expediters that will support and facilitate the process of passing all necessary tests and meeting codes.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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