Seaporcel Metals Inc

March 29th, 2013 by


Long Island City has been in a constant state of change in recent years. This building was just another victim.


History
This building and lot was once the home of Seaporcel, a metal manufacture who's work seemed to focus on exterior, ornamental steel. The company seemed to be in operation from the 1950s and into the 1960s. They held at least one patent, for 'translucent building panels'. These panels were used in 'modern' buildings, such as the Hartford Statler Hotel, in Connecticut. There's a few photos of this building (aside from the one in the advertisement in the gallery with this write up) online - this being one of them. Apparently this building was later 'modernized' (and made very ugly) and then bulldozed in 1990.

Around 1960 the company was also having some internal management issues, which lead to at least one lawsuit. Curiously, the plantiff in the case also seemed to own another steel company in Brooklyn according to this SEC filing. I'm sure there's some interesting stories behind these characters (if anyone wants to dig, by all means let me know what you find).



It just goes to show that not all industries started in L.I.C. survived or made a huge impact in society. Eagle electric, swingline staplers, there were many examples of big businesses born and raised in LIC. Some, like Seaporcel, didn't grow, and soon disappeared.




It just goes to show that not all industries started in L.I.C. survived or made a huge impact in society. Eagle electric, swingline staplers, there were many examples of big businesses born and raised in LIC. Some, like Seaporcel, didn't grow, and soon disappeared.

More recently, the building had a few tenants - a lawyers office and Spring Scaffold - one of the largest scaffold companies in NYC. all of these tenants were given the boot when Fed Ex decided to build a huge new distribution center across the street on the old National Envelop property.

The building here was quickly bulldozed, and the property is now a parking lot.

Getting IN
Getting in here was rather easy, though slightly bold. Part of the lot comes up against a space where the Borden Avenue Drawbridge slides into open position ( it is one of 4 'slider' drawbridges in the USA - moving horizontally to allow boats to pass in the creek). There is a ladder down into this spot off the bridge, and randomly enough there was a nice sized hole made in the building wall that proved easy to climb into, even in broad daylight.

Once inside, the lot was largely already cleaned out. The building was a half moldy, half intact juxtaposition of decay and disorder. There really wasn't much to see.

We came back one night and used this spot as a springboard into exploring the old texaco oil facility next door. Currently that property is a truck parking lot. There's only a few small buildings here, most of them sealed up pretty good. In the near silence we heard some security guy wandering around - he seemed to be either trying to find us or talking to himself. Not sure what we were dealing with, we figured maybe this spot-next-door would be best revisited. Any night seeing even a small lot, no matter how seemingly boring, that soon became history was already a mission worth taking.



3 responses to “Seaporcel Metals Inc”

  1. railman says:

    I love looking at all these old forgotten places. Thanks for doing the dirty work!

    I’m amazed the lights are still on!

  2. John Polvinale says:

    I was employed by Seaporcel Metals from 1957 to 1959 and have much information for those who are interested.

  3. John Polvinale says:

    Seaporcel Metals manufactured Porcelain Enameled building panels.
    Gasoline stations, Enameling submarine mufflers for the military, and curtain wall panels were the primary source of business in the late 50’s.
    Seaporcel was a leader in the industry during that era.
    I left employment there in 1959.

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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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