Original publication date: May 1, 2001, Updated & re-posted: Feb. 16, 2014.
What was it? This new category of blog posts will feature locations around NYC that I've explored, but haven't had the time to dig up good historic information on. It is my hope that someone out there will be able to comment below and let us all know - what was it?
Today's feature is an abandoned set of buildings that were in Brooklyn. Outside of it's address (1242 38th street, Brooklyn NY), I know little about what this facility was used for. There are however some clues to be found in the photos and the building's location.
This place was located just south of the former South Brooklyn Railway (or SBK for short) which ran from the waterfront, along 37th street under the old Culver Shuttle, and hooked south along MacDonald avenue to what is today's NYCTA Coney Island yard. Thus it's a fairly good guess that at some point they received freight via these tracks. By the 1980s, these tracks were severely neglected and judging from these photos of cars parked on the tracks - completely disused. One might also assume this building was likely abandoned around the same time period. Sometime after 2001, the building and silos were demolished. Curiously the NYC Dept. of Buildings seems to have no permits on file for such work. Certainly someone was being paid to look the other way.
Here's my original write up from the spring of 2001:
"From the exterior on one street, all one can see are graffiti coated brick walls, but if you circle around the block, one might find a hole in the back wall which leads directly under the 6 large silos that dominate the structures. What these silos were used to store is unknown. Was it coal? Sand? With the large piles of sand nearby, one can guess that this building later saw use as some sort of aggregates supplier. Today, there's not much left of the place - it is as if someone drove a bulldozer through the place and dug up any dead bodies buried here (or maybe just a below-surface storage tank?). Everything has been destroyed and gutted, leaving no evidence of what function this facility once served."
So what was it?