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Jul 10 2017

NYC – Greenwich Lock & Safe

Category: Locks & Keys,Road TripsLori @ 12:53 am Comments (9)

Some of you may remember the blog post below, which I first published in 2011.  Time flies!  When I visited Greenwich Lock & Safe and met locksmith and artist Phil Mortillaro, he told me that there was a documentary in progress about him.  The documentary is now available on!


I took the Acela train to New York City this morning, so I could attend the dinner cruise for the Door Security & Safety Foundation tonight (a great time!).  Last night when I was packing for the trip, my 5-year-old daughter said, “I don’t want you to go to New York.  There are bad men there.”  When I asked where she had heard about these “bad men”, she said, “I saw them on the movie, Home Alone!”  🙂

A few months ago, several people sent me a link to a blog post about a locksmith shop in NYC.  Since I had a couple of free hours this afternoon I decided to go see it in person.  Greenwich Lock & Safe is not your typical lock shop…it’s the smallest freestanding building in all of Manhattan, and it’s a work of art.  The entire facade of the building is covered with keys.  It’s amazing!!  I spoke to the owner and artist, Philip Mortillaro, and he estimates that there are about 20,000 keys.  I know I’m abnormally partial to hardware, but this shop is really beautiful.  Philip told me that there is a documentary in progress about his locksmith business and his art – it’s called Do Not Duplicate, and you can watch the trailer on Philip’s website –

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9 Responses to “NYC – Greenwich Lock & Safe”

  1. Bob Caron says:

    I’ve noticed a lot of us locksmiths are a bit wacky and creative. I love that guy’s work and the documentary film sounds like it will be very interesting. I hope it will be available on DVD after it airs because I have no TV or cable/satelite.

  2. Kathi Frelk says:

    I’m a little jealous that you got to visit Greenwich Lock & Safe! Don’t know when I’ll get to NYC again, but I will also make time to see this shop! Thanks for posting info about documentary…I’m looking forward to seeing it. kbf

  3. Daniel Ferry, AHC says:

    Great idea of what to do with old keys, huh?
    Thought the door & chair were time consuming.
    Then saw the building facade!!!
    Holy Cow!!!

  4. Bob Caron says:

    I just heard from Phil. He says the documentary will be out on DVD and he will let us know when on his facebook page. I’ll let you know when I see the details.

  5. Bob Caron says:

    The 30 minute documentary is streaming online for free on PBS.

    Phil has some pretty salty language so you are warned if that bothers you.

    • Lori says:

      I got a notification about that! Salty language doesn’t bother me but I will watch it and see if would be a problem for me to post a link on iDH. It’s on PBS so it doesn’t seem like it could be that bad, but I’m not sure what Allegion’s rules are on that.

      – Lori

  6. Jim Elder says:

    Great film. I love New York guys who work with their hands. Salty talk is a way of life.

    Wonder if he needs keys. I know locksmiths who have buckets full. Brass or aluminum, both?

  7. Chris Clark says:

    Wow…the Iron Throne doesn’t hold a candle to The Chair of Keys 🙂

  8. Chuck Park says:

    In NY, the “F” word is an all-purpose part of regular communication.
    It can be a Noun, Verb, Adverb, Adjective, and Modifier all in one.

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