Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Living in the walled city

The best part about DUMBO is that so much of its history has been perserved.

I was just reading on a Web site that "the first urban street improvement project occurred in DUMBO in 1819 and is one of the earliest examples of formal surveying and mapping of roads and the addition of sidewalks. In reference to the mammoth warehouses erected along the entirety of the Brooklyn waterfront, Brooklyn received the nickname the walled city."

If you walk through DUMBO you can still see the names of the factories on some of the building. The name Gair is a popular one: Robert Gair Company, Gair Building No. 6, Gair Building. A New York Times article offers interesting background on the guy, who was a Scottish-born immigrant who created an empire out of making cardboard. He built his factories next to the water since it was a good location near the ships. In 1981, David Walentas purchased most of the Gair properties for $12 million. I live in Gair building No. 7.

Some of the manufacturers in DUMBO included: Tubal Cain Iron Works, Sweeney Metal Works, Yuban Coffee and Spices, and the Robert Gair Bottle Cap and Cardboard Box Manufacturing buildings.

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