Preserve 24, a new dining destination on the Lower East Side, wants you to know that it's not just another restaurant. The sprawling space, which takes over three 111-year old tenement buildings, is also a multidisciplinary art installation, a social club, and a sitting room. All this is to say that artist Brian Goggin's design isn't just background noise in the newest locavore restaurant to hit the dining scene; in many cases, it's the star of the show.

Photographer Tod Seelie captured some of Goggin's more whimsical design elements, like a bar built out of grand pianos with piano pedal tap handles to match; ceiling fans constructed out of oars, wooden propellers and baking handles; and walls, booths and bars created from old doors and window shutters.

The distressed look is purposeful, channeling a bygone era of explorers and expeditions and charting unknown territory. One design element evokes both our past and future in the form of a giant iceberg chunk from the Greenland ice sheet, which will be suspended in a custom case kept chilly by solar power. The expedition to excavate the icy giant won't happen until next March, but the glacial relic will serve as a physical reminder of our ever-warming planet.

Chef John Parlatore's food follows a similar thesis, with hearty, classic New York fare composed with locally sourced ingredients. "Supper" items include a variety of roasted dishes from the enormous wood burning oven, like a Smoked Pork Chop ($28) with molasses butter beans and the Whole Roasted porgy ($22) with muddled tomato, oregano and garlic. Lunch means simple yet flavorful fare like the Fried Chicken ($15) with butter biscuits and honey wasabi and a selection of sandwiches like a grilled cheese ($12) with spicy pickles and a fried oyster sandwich ($15) with smoked bacon. During the day, part of the restaurant will serve Weaver's Coffee & Tea—with hand roasted beans by coffee master John Weaver—plus homemade baked goods and other carryout items.

Preserve24 officially opens for dinner on Thursday, with breakfast and lunch to roll out in the coming weeks.

175-177 East Houston Street; 646-837-6100

P24 Lunch

P24 Supper

P24 Brunch