Another great post from FCBS’ Miriam Kelly – currently travelling the industrial heritage of the USA as an architectural research project for the Winston Churchill Fellowship.

Creative Industrial


North of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Hasidic Jews of South Williamsburg are celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Walking west to the waterfront, under the bridge and along Kent Avenue, the broken chain of Brooklyn’s industrial past unfolds.

From the slaughterhouses, breweries and rope makers of the late seventeenth century, Brooklyn grew into one of the largest industrial centres in the country. The north waterfront through Williamsburg and Greenpoint saw the concentration of heavy industry, their chimneys a counterpoint to the skyline of Manhattan on opposite bank. It was here the ‘five black arts’ of glass, iron, ceramics, printing and refining were developed.

As New York’s waterfront became overcrowded, so manufacturers and entrepreneurs found space and affordability across the East River – a pattern repeated today as gaps left by declining industry are filled with workshops, studios and emerging residential communities.


Although many of the larger buildings have been lost, the character along…

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