S&S Factory Day RaidApril 13th, 2008 by Bad Guy Joe
This building was originally constructed as the Lewis Steel Products factory in the late 1930s. After Lewis Steel moved out, it became the S & S Corrugated Box Machine factory. S & S made "Machinery for making corrugated paper, paper boxes, and machinery for combining, treating, fabricating, cutting and slotting" of all varieties of such paper. S & S also had a sordid history with the neighborhood, and after they went out of business, this factory building became artist studios and a lampshade outlet.
In 2007 plans were made to convert it into high priced loft apartments. The building would be rebranded as the 'Steelworks Lofts". From 2007 to 2011 ownership of this building changed hands several times, with each group of owners having slightly different plans for it. As of this writing (June, 2013) the building is actively being converted into apartments again.
After raiding this building overnight, I was up early and itching to get back inside during daylight hours.
The streets of many parts of NYC are dead on Sunday mornings. I parked right outside of the door and walked in, just as we had a few hours before. Today I was flying solo though. It's hard to keep up with me when I get this obsessed with a building.
Inside a found a very deserted first floor. At the rear of the building was a very long hallway running east and west through the entire length of the building. I later found that this was a railroad siding connecting to the nearby BEDT terminal. It is unclear if Lewis Steel or S & S ever received or shipped rail cars from here - though it seems likely that Lewis did at some point.
Upstairs was a lounge - perhaps an illegal bar? as well as various artist studio spaces. I had to stop and goof off a little at the one photographers studio that was left behind.
After an hour or three of shooting I simply walked out the front door again. The few people on the street at the time had no idea that I had no business being in there. if you look like you belong, no one thinks twice.
Buildings like these are just too rare in NYC anymore. it is a pathetic shame that our industrial history is not better saved and documented. Hopefully when it is redeveloped they'll at least put a plaque on the outside or in the lobby explaining it's significance. I kinda doubt it they will though. The building is being rebranded as the 'Steelworks lofts' - no mention of S & S and what they did to the neighborhood.