Continuing my search for a usable elevator in Greenpoint, my boss had given me a few addresses to check out, and as I approached 61 Greenpoint, I noticed a really great building detail I’ve never seen before…
Lining the top floor windows are rows…
Why Pencils? 61 Greenpoint was once part of the Faber Pencil Factory, located in a complex of buildings around Greenpoint Ave.
Originally based in Manhattan, the Faber company moved to Greenpoint after a fire in 1872. Many of its former buildings can still be identified by the company emblem, a diamond-enclosed star…
…which could also be found on the pencils:
Owner Eberhard Faber is responsible for introducing German lead pencil-making to the United States. Below, an ad for Faber’s from a 1908 issue of Photo-era Magazine:
There are sixteen terra cotta pencils in total on the Greenpoint Avenue building, which once housed the company’s offices. Today, it’s commercial loft space.
The original 1872 building is next door…
The actual former factory building is on adjacent Kent Street, and is apparently being gutted for condos.
A familiar emblem graces the top level:
Faber employed hundreds of locals until its relocation to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1952. The company was eventually bought out in 1978. Across the street, another Faber building:
Meanwhile, one former Faber building nearby is reaching the end of its condoization process. I can’t imagine a way those rooftop box things could look more completely out of place…
Worse, the Faber building is only half of the new “Pencil Factory Condos,” connecting with an absolutely hideous modern abomination best described as Ikea-chic. I mean, come on – does anyone out there see this and say, “Fuck yeah! I wanna live in THAT!”
I don’t get developers. They fight tooth and nail to tear down/gut/ruin amazing properties in favor of ugly modern apartment buildings like the one above, only to then go and use the history as a primary selling point.
PS – Great super-generic ad copy from the Pencil Factory Condos website:
“Cool, contemporary, and undeniably distinctive, this is The Pencil Factory in the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn – the city’s newest neighborhood of note [aww, congrats, Greenpoint!]. Originally built in 1872 for the Eberhard Faber pencil company, this unique condominium, featuring residences spanning three buildings, is where culture meets character. Where urban meets the urbane. Where history meets your story.”