All photos © Paul Raphaelson
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Paul Raphaelson takes us through the Domino Sugar Factory before its redevelopment got underway. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
The term “ruin porn” was born out of generations of street photographers venturing into neglected, decaying, and off-limits spaces, but today it’s become more of a mainstream trend to fluff one’s Instagram feed. So when Brooklyn-based artist Paul Raphaelson received the chance in 2013 to be the last photographer allowed into the then-abandoned Domino Sugar Factory, he knew he didn’t want his project to simply “estheticize surfaces while ignoring the underlying history.”
His stunning photos of the 135-year-old structure still “capture the sublime sense of spectacle,” but they also accompany archival maps, newspaper clippings, corporate documents, and even interviews with former Domino Sugar Factory employees, all of which come together in his new book “Brooklyn’s Sweet Ruin: Relics and Stories of the Domino Sugar Refinery.” Raphaelson shared his stunning images with us and also shared his thoughts on “urban exploration,” his process in compiling a comprehensive history of Domino, and his thoughts on the recently approved plans for the site.
See all Paul’s photos
Keren and Thomas Richter, the founders of Brooklyn-based design studio White Arrow, designed and renovated the top floor of a 1800s schoolhouse in South Williamsburg, converting the landmarked loft into a light-filled home. After purchasing the home in 2010, the couple reimagined the home with custom Victorian millwork, as well as salvaged doors, hardware, antique earthenware sinks and claw foot tubs. Known as the Historic Schoolhouse, the red-bricked building was designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2013.
Historic townhouses are fairly rare in Williamsburg, better known for its warehouses, but this one is part of the the Fillmore Historic District, a historic stretch of homes and the only landmarked district in the neighborhood. The Neo-Grec style home, which dates back to 1881, was completely renovated and returned to single-family status this year. The result? A modern, minimalist design that’s brighter and loftier than the average townhouse. And the Christmas decorations don’t look bad in here, either! It’s now on the market for $3.7 million.
You’ll want to see inside
The Dime, rendering courtesy Fogarty Finger Architecture and Interiors.
6sqft reported in May that a 23-story mixed-use tower was headed for one of Williamsburg‘s most closely-watched developments, the site anchored by the Neoclassical-style Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh building at 209 Havemeyer Street at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge. Now, New York Yimby reveals new renderings courtesy of the project’s architects, Fogarty Finger Architecture and Interiors. In addition, the site’s developers, Charney Construction & Development and Tavros Capital Partners, have received a $150 million loan to restore the historic bank and build the new tower. According to The Real Deal, the loan coincides with the closing of the purchase of the bank building itself–the site’s final parcel–for $12 million.
More renderings this way
Rendering of 94 North 3rd Street courtesy of Hudson Companies Inc.
Applications are now being accepted for 15 newly constructed, affordable apartments in a mixed-use development in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. With 75 total units and more than 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, the building at 94 North 3rd Street sits just a few blocks from the waterfront and bustling Metropolitan Avenue. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 60 percent of the area median income can apply for studios for $867 per month, one-bedrooms for $931 per month and two-bedrooms listed for $1123 monthly.
Find out if you qualify
This 624-square-foot, one-bedroom condo at 134 North 10th Street in Williamsburg offers the best of both worlds in a small amount of space. A recent reno restored details of the historic townhouse building, like six-inch-wide plank pine flooring, built-in closets, and decorative fireplaces. But the renovation also created an efficient, flexible layout with custom build outs that include shelving, desks, sliding doors, and lofts. After last selling in 2010 for $441,090, this blend of old-meets-new is on the market asking $775,000.
Take a look around
292-314 Kent. Rendering by Practice for Architecture and Urbanism via Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Update 10/31/17: The Landmarks Preservation Commission did not approve the new plans at the hearing, instead suggesting the architects present revised designs that address how the newly exposed brick will be preserved and how the ground floor will interact with the open space. The Commissioners were divided on the glass topper, with some feeling it appropriately references the building’s arches and others feeling it inappropriately treats the structure as a ruin.
6sqft previously shared the latest round of designs for the three million-square-foot Domino Sugar Factory mega-development in Williamsburg, done by Vishaan Chakrabarti‘s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU). Developer Two Trees broke ground on the first tower in the Domino Sugar Refinery Master Plan last spring, and the lottery opened for 104 affordable units at the SHoP Architects-designed building, the 16-story 325 Kent Avenue. Now, more new renderings of the complex have been released ahead of an October 31 presentation before the Landmarks Preservation Commission (h/t Brownstoner).
More new renderings this way
Rendering of 695 Grand Street courtesy of St. Nicks Alliance & NYHC
Located just steps away from Williamsburg‘s bustling Metropolitan Avenue, a mixed-use building at 695 Grand Street is now accepting applications for 38 affordable units. Developed by St. Nicks Alliance and designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP), the eight-story rental features sustainable design elements like a landscaped terrace and rooftop, as well as a vertical green wall planted trellis on its facade. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 30, 50, 60 and 130 percent of the area median income can apply for units ranging from $670/month studios to $2,056/month three-bedrooms.
Find out if you qualify
6sqft’s series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to the Williamsburg apartment of designer Gregoire Abrial and marketing creative Hang Pham. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Raw, industrial loft spaces are increasingly difficult to come by these days in NYC, so when you walk into one that’s been custom outfitted by its tenants to a tee, the experience is truly unique.
Found inside none other than Williamsburg’s infamous artists bunker, 475 Kent, is the 865-square-foot loft of French furniture designer Gregoire Abrial and Vietnamese-born marketing creative Hang Pham. Ahead the international duo offer up a tour of their inimitable Brooklyn space (that upon move-in seven years ago had nothing more than a bathtub, toilet, and kitchen sink) which they’ve outfitted with “slow designs” by Gregoire (more on that ahead), items bartered with neighbors, refuse found on the street, tchotchkes and treasures from family, friends and travels, and, of course, a pretty amazing DIY treehouse bedroom.
go inside their creative home
15 Dunham Place offers spectacular Williamsburg Bridge views, photo courtesy of C&C Apartment Management
Applications are being accepted for studio rental apartments at 15 Dunham Place in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Located along the waterfront between Broadway and South 6th Street, the 11-story building features 160 units, half of which are income-restricted. Amenities include a 13,000-square-foot common room on the third floor, a game room, doorman and bike storage. Qualifying New Yorkers earning between $22,903 and $26,720 can apply for studios listed at $613 per month, and those earning between $27,800 and $33,400 can apply for studios at $755.83 per month.
Find out if you qualify