Friday, October 31, 2014

Harte & Company Building - Greenpoint

Curved, glass block and brick wall at corner of Franklin Street and Commercial Street
Harte & Company Building, Corner of Franklin and Commercial
Manufacturing equipment on roof of Harte & Company building
Harte & Company Roof-top Manufacturing Equipment
The far northern end of Greenpoint between Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue is my favorite part of the neighborhood. It still retains some of the industrial character that once defined Greenpoint. Soon, much of what's left of that character will be erased as the area is transformed into gated communities in the sky. The next building up for demolition in northern Greenpoint appears to be the Harte and Company building at 280 Franklin Street. Although the Harte and Company building was among the buildings highlighted in the Preservation League of New York's "Seven to Save" list in 2006, the New York City Landmark's Preservation Commission declined Preservation Greenpoint's request to consider granting the building landmark status. Demolition permits have been filed for most of the building.[1] It seems to be only a matter of time before most of the structures are razed; however, demolition permits have not been filed for the main part of the building.[2] So, hopefully the iconic curved glass block wall and mechanical apparatus on the roof will be incorporated into the proposed development.

Harte & Company Building from corner of Franklin Street and Dupont Street
Harte & Company - Corner of Franklin Street and Dupont Street 
Aerial photo of Harte & Company Building
Aerial of Harte & Company Building
Harte & Company Building entrance
Harte & Company Entrance
Spanning half a city block, the Arte Moderne style Harte & Company building was constructed circa 1930 by an unknown architect.[2] The Nuharte and Company manufactured shower curtains, upholstery and other plastic products in Greenpoint's Harte & Company building until the plant closed in 2004. Prior to plastic manufacturing, the site was used for manufacturing boilers, light fixtures and soap.[3] The only piece of information I could find about the building in the Brooklyn Library's archives is that part of the building is an addition. Judging by aerial photography, my guess is that the building is two separate structures (highlighted in the aerial above). The granite veneer at the building's entrance on Dupont Street also appears to be an afterthought or addition to the original structure.

  1. Croghan, Lore "Greenpoint: Has the Sale of the former Harte & Co. Factory Closed" Brooklyn Daily Eagle online. 9 April, 2014.
  2. "Demolition Parmits Filed for Harte & Co. Factory Complex in Greenpoint" Brownstoner 26 August, 2014.
  3. Short, Arron "Greenpoint Plastics Company is a Superfund Site" Brooklyn Paper online. 20, July 2010.

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