I was thrilled that so many of you love the little building under the 59th Street bridge as much as I do. I received a bunch of emails about the old Terra-Cotta Works, including one from someone whose great great grandfather worked there from around 1910 to 1920 and took of the building when it was in operation – perhaps you car aficionados can identify the approximate year by the cars pictured?
Compare it to today, and it’s simply amazing how well it has weathered the years:
He also included a copy of the company’s letterhead from 1911…
…which includes a great etching of the property.
Horse-and-buggys pass by as a trolly drives down Vernon Boulevard…
Behind it, the actual factory building – note the four kilns in front:
I also received a note that an old photograph of the Terra-Cotta Works’s complex was up on the Greater Astoria Historical Society’s Smugmug site. The obvious difference is in the electrical lines spanning the block – but even more impressive is the 59th Street Bridge slowly crawling toward Queens in the background.
Finally, a lot of you were hoping I’d figure out a way to get some interior pictures. As I was looking into it, I received this letter from someone who has been inside recently:
“It was totally gutted inside. Floors and walls all gone. There was one small alcove of original work left: a 2nd floor fireplace, right under the triple chimneys. Completely covered with about 45 layers of paint. Ugh. We brought cameras in, thinking to get some great shots, but got bupkiss.”
Very much looking forward to seeing 401 Vernon come back to life in the near future.
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