Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic Avenue’

Luxury apartments named after old factories

October 12, 2011

The Toy Factory lofts, the Pencil Factory lofts—when New York’s manufacturing buildings get made over into condos or co-ops, they often take on the former name of the building in a bid for authentrification.

The developers of the Ex-Lax loft co-ops (above), on Atlantic Avenue between Nevins and Hoyt Streets, didn’t shy away from the building’s past as a laxative factory when they converted the circa-1920s plant into 57 residences in 1979.

According to a resident interviewed by The New York Times in 1997, “the stigma of living in one of those five units has mostly disappeared — within the neighborhood, that is.”

What’s left of that stigma can be yours today for over a million bucks.

Of course, the Hit Factory wasn’t a factory in the traditional sense.

But this mega recording studio (at left) on West 54th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues cranked out tons of hit records from the 1970s until it closed in 2005.

Now, the place where John Lennon reportedly spent his final hours mixing tracks before he was murdered is a 27-unit condo with residences going for over seven figures.

Atlantic Avenue: the “Swedish Broadway”

February 22, 2010

Today, the harbor end of Brooklyn’s main drag has a mix of bars and restaurants, high-end boutiques and antique stores, and Middle Eastern shops.

But in the late 19th century, it was the home base of Scandinavian immigrants in Brooklyn, known as the “Swedish Broadway.”

(Photo of Atlantic and Third Avenue, from the NYPL)

A search through the pre-1902 Brooklyn Eagle archives turns up a Swedish press (Svenska Amerikanska Presson) at 563 Atlantic, a banquet hall (Tura Verein Hall) at 351 Atlantic, and a notice that the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co. now prints signs in Swedish in street cars going through the “Swedish Colony.”

And an 1891 Eagle article describes the estimated 20,000 Swedes centered around Fourth Avenue as “frugal, industrious, and very well behaved.”

(Atlantic and Henry Street building, from the NYPL)

Bay Ridge’s Eighth Avenue soon took over as home to a large concentration of Scandinavian Brooklynites (mostly Norwegian) during the 20th century.

But back on Atlantic, one of the few surviving remnants of the old neighborhood is Bethlehem Lutheran Church (below photo), at Third and Pacific, established in 1874.

Another (now Episcopalian) church, at 424 Dean Street, began in the 1870s as Immanuel Swedish Methodist Church.

A couple of Brooklyn phone exchanges

July 6, 2008

HY is for Hyancinth, in Williamsburg, but it’s unclear where that name came from.

The very faded NE in this moving-shipping-storage ad on Atlantic Avenue and Bedford stands for Nevins. Too bad there isn’t a city agency to help preserve the faint numerals.