Tag Archives: 1922

Port of New York Grain Terminal

The Port of New York Grain Terminal, the “Magnificent Mistake” in Red Hook, Brooklyn, has been shut since 1965 and is slowly crumbling into the Gowanus Canal. The ruins are now privately owned, apparently used only as a photo/movie backdrop.

The silos were built by the State of New York in 1922 in an attempt to revive Erie Canal traffic: Midwest grain could travel by barge through the Great Lakes, Erie Canal and Hudson River to this terminal, for onward shipment and/or local consumption. Unfortunately, New York’s labor costs drove the traffic to other ports.

Meanwhile, the site has become a challenge course for graffiti artists and photographers: The building is guarded on the north and west by a 12-foot concrete wall and chain link fence; on the east and south by the Gowanus Canal. I got my closeups by accident: The guard apparently went to get his lunch, leaving the gate wide open, when I wandered by. I spent a half hour shooting the grounds unchallenged. When I left, the guard had returned – and was furious. I suspect that the only reason I didn’t get in trouble is that he’d have more explaining to do than I would.

Port of New York Grain Terminal Vital Statistics
Port of New York Grain Terminal Recommended Reading

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Fashion Center Building

Fashion Center Building, in the words of The New York Times, “is hardly a traffic-stopping landmark.” But its entrance and its terra cotta decoration are noteworthy – someone was paying attention to details.

The Seventh Avenue entrance was restored in 1994 to close to its original state – the ornate wrought iron grill had been removed and the vestibule had been enclosed with a line of modern doors. The restoration architect, George Ranalli, added modern touches in the floor, lighting and lobby desk, but otherwise preserved the spirit of the original.

Fashion Center Building Vital Statistics
Fashion Center Building Recommended Reading

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