Colonna & Co Marble

June 25th, 2007 by

Colonna & Company was a supplier of Marble, located in Long Island City just north of the 'Big Allis' power plant on Vernon Blvd.

The name Colonna is an old Italian nobility family name. Probably the most famous of the Colonna clan was Pope Martin V.

The area immediately surrounding Colonna's massive warehouse was home to several building supply companies. The Costco which is presently located at Vernon and Broadway, was formerly one of Thypin Steel's factories. It is no accident that famed sculpture Isamu Noguchi's museum is located between the two. Noguchi used the space for his workshop. At the time it was an out of the way, relatively desolate area - but it was in close proximity to the companies like Colonna where he sourced his sculpting supplies from.

Very little can be found on Colonna's history today, though there is one reference to it in "The Cheapskate Millionaire's Guide to Bargain Hunting in the Big Apple: The Best Deals on the Best Stuff". This paragraph is in a section on where to source materials for a kitchen makeover:

"Take that and your nickel sinks over to Colonna & Company, in Long Island City, or to almost any other marble yard in the area. Pick out the exact slab of marble or granite you want - it's fun! Show them exactly where you want the sinks to go, and pick out what kind of edge you want."

"Pick out the exact slab of marble or granite you want - it's fun!"

"As this book was going to press I asked Maria at Colonna how much she'd charge for such a thick slab, a luxurious 40 inches wide with a fluted front edge, including the sink hole. She gave me an estimate of 900$"

Benjamin Colonna, owner of the company,
passed away in 1983. According to his obituary, the company moved to Colorado some time before that.

I vaguely recall climbing into this lot from along the east river back in the late 80s. It was a beat up though very busy place. I'm not sure when they went out of business, or when half of the warehouse was torn down, though I do know the final structure came down in 2008.

As of this writing, in 2013, all buildings are gone and the lot is a large construction pit. Original post date: 6/25/2007. Original explorations: 1989, 2005, 2007 & 2008

One response to “Colonna & Co Marble”

  1. Charles K Schmauder Jr says:

    My grandfather, Charles H Schmauder, was a salesman at Colonna Marble. He passed away in 1983 at the age of 86. When I was a kid we used to go to Ben Colonna’s beach house in Long Branch NJ for a few weeks in the summer. A few years ago the office entrance to the company was still there on Vernon with the name “Colonna” over the entrance in, of course, marble. Don’t know if it still exists, haven’t been by there in a long time.

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  • About The Author

    Bad Guy Joe

    Bad Guy Joe
    Bad Guy Joe knows more about the NYC underground than anyone else on or below the surface of this planet. He has spent nearly 30 years sneaking into NYC's more forbidden locations. When not underground, he's probably bitching about politicians or building something digital. 
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