September 6, 2006

Gowanus Canal At Night

Does anyone happen to know the story behind the little building on 3rd Avenue and 3rd street. All the buildings around it have been torn down and it remains marooned and forlorn looking... As an aside apparently Rooftop Films has a venue across the street at the Old American Can Factory. Why did I not know this? (If you live in New York and don't know about Rooftop Films, you probably should. Only a few films left in the season.)

Ever wonder about the Kentile Floors sign which so defines Gowanus? Kevin Walsh of Forgotten New York has done the research: "Kentile was founded by Arthur Kennedy in 1898 and once billed itself as "America's largest manufacturers of super-resilient floor tile." Kentile hung in there till just a couple of years ago following a series of strikes and costly asbestos lawsuits. It's purple neon sign no longer burns brightly but it reminds folks for miles around that there was once a Kentile." (more) Scores of pictures of the Kentile sign (most taken from the F train) can be found on flickr.

posted at 01:52 AM by raul

Filed under: east coast


09/06/06 10:45 AM

For a time in the late 80s or early 90s, part of the R in Kentile Floors was broken, so the sign read, "Kentile Floops." I wish I had a picture.

More trivia: the sign appears briefly in the wonderful film "Half Nelson," one of the few identifying landmarks.

And that Second Empirish building at 3rd Ave -- I read recently that it was saved from demolition by a Landmarks designation, but unfortunately I don't remember where I read that.

09/12/06 02:18 PM

It's the Pippen Building. Used to be the HQ of an artificial-stone manufacturer. They talked about it on Gothamist in late June: It's Official: Pippen Building Won't Be Eaten By Whole Foods.

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