M Fine’s old location

March 3rd, 2011 by


This old low rise building has an eventual date with the wrecking ball. Its current ownership seems to be a blurry line between the NYC government and a huge waste management company (aptly named 'Waste Management') who noted on it's demo application:

THIS BUILDING IS OUTDATED AND OUT OF COMMISSION FOR SOME TIME.OWNER WISHES TO DEMOLISH THIS STRUCTURE AND KEEP THE LOT FOR FUTURE EXPANSION AS NEED ARISES.

'Future Expansion'. Print this out and circle those words, for they are the reason this building is vacant and soon to be destroyed.

You see, Trash is NYC's number one export. 6 days per week, some 10-15 freight cars worth of municipal solid waste - the stuff you put in your trash can - departs NYC for landfills down south. Hundreds of tons of rubbish, sent out of town daily.

A significant amount of this rubbish is currently packaged up in the every growing facilities along Varick Ave in Bushwick. In the past few years, Waste Management has converted their facility just south of this location to handle MSW waste. The NY Dept. of Sanitation built a huge new facility directly along side Waste Managements, and WM bought up a lot north of this building - basically surrounding it with trash facilities.

Eventually, the former tenant, M Fine lumber company, relocated to Metropolitan Ave. Can you really blame them? This trash processing facility is part of the reason the city was able to shut down the Staten Island Landfill.

M Fine is, in and of itself, a rather interesting company - here's a blurb on them I found online:

Founded in 1933, M. Fine has been reclaiming lumber from demolished buildings and warehouses across the U.S. for over 77 years. Inside their gates the sight is overwhelming, row upon row of old growth timbers, carefully stacked and bundled waiting for the right designer, architect, or contractor to give them new life. The reclaimed timbers found at M. Fine, including Long Leaf Yellow Pine, Antique Heart Pine and Douglas Fir, exemplify a quality of lumber that is hard to find in your everyday big box lumber store.

Sounds like an interesting operation, one of them great small businesses that have survived in NYC despite all the challenges this town can present. M Fine survives today at their new location a few blocks from this spot. Their old building, however, has seen better days.

Doors have been left wide open or removed complete. The rear wall is basically gone, and the interior is a water damaged moldy mess. Anything left behind was long picked over and looted, and graffiti artists used some walls as their own canvas.

Despite it's limited photographic opportunities, I was quite happy to check this place out. This part of NYC has a very dirty, albeit very thriving future as the toilet of Brooklyn North.

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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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