Brooklyn North District 1 Sanitation Garage

August 20th, 2008 -

The blistering pace of development along Kent Avenue, which parallels the East River, has already claimed industrial landmarks like the Kent Avenue Powerhouse and the Domino Sugar Refinery. Next is 50 Kent Avenue, just south of the Bushwick Inlet. Though hardly a landmark, this humble one-story truck depot still contains many interesting artifacts from Brooklyn's industrial past. Once home to the North District 1 Sanitation Garage, its abandoned offices contain leftover American flags, dump truck art and a map of the solar system.

Over $19 million may soon be invested in this simple plot of land. The garage is being redeveloped by the NY Parks Department as part of the city's massive "Greenpoint/Williamsburg Rezoning Plan" - which gave the Parks Department over $183 million to create 50 acres of new parkland along the East River. A recent Parks Department report - the "Fiscal 2009 Preliminary Budget Hearings" - mentions their plan to spend "$13.3 million for the acquisition of 50 Kent Ave. and $5.8 million for the design and construction of the 50 Kent Ave. site." In the meantime, the garage may enjoy a brief new life as a concert venue before demolition.

Update: By June 2009, this building had been completely demolished.

G. Siegle Color Works - Rosebank, Staten Island

August 14, 2008 -

The G. Siegle Company Color Works was a 101 year old factory located in Rosebank, a colorfully named but otherwise quiet Staten Island neighborhood. According to Colorants History, the Color Works was "the oldest pigment plant in North America." It once made pigments of all hues, and the factory's remaining floors, walls, ceilings and equipment are still coated with bright dusts that instantly stain everything they come in contact with. In a recent New York Times article - "Rosebank: When Pink Pigeons Soared the Sky" - neighbors recalled seeing "pink pigeons" and "red-tinted birds, cats or other animals that had apparently frolicked near the powdery pigment produced at the plant." Workers also recalled that at one time, the factory was producing "up to 10,000 pounds a day" of "a shade of yellow" called "7285."

The Color Works was closed in early 2008. Today the demolition of the factory is nearly complete. Through broken walls, the hidden, vibrant colors of the factory are now exposed to the elements.