The Complete New York City Photography Portfolio
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Times Tells Its Own Tale - 480 Van Brunt Street - Red Hook Stores - Fairway Market - Brooklyn - New York City- By Vivienne Gucwa 480 Brunt Street is also known as the Red Hook Stores. It is a Civil War-era storehouse located in the Red Hook Waterfront Historic District in Brooklyn, New York City. Red Hook, located in Northwestern Brooklyn was settled in 1636 by Dutch Colonists who named the area Roode Hoek (red point) after the red hue of the soil and because the area jutted out into the water. Due to its waterfront location, ships from all over the world would dock at Red Hook to exchange cargo and make repairs for well over a century. When many of the shipyards were relocated in the 20th century, the area fell was marked by significant urban decay. The building in this photo, known as the Red Hook Stores, was built in 1869 by the builder William Beard. Beard, who was an Irish immigrant made millions via his building and railroad empire. At the end of the Civil War, New York City was receiving such a large amount of goods that Manhattan could not handle all of the cargo. Brooklyn's waterfront became the alternative and warehouses like this one played a crucial role in offloading cargo like grain, cotton, hemp, jute, indigo, leather, fruits, tobacco, vegetables, cocoa beans and coffee. This building now houses a Fairway Market and apartment residences. The beautiful iron shutters that give this warehouse building so much charm were initially built to protect the precious cargo stored in the warehouse from the elements. The decayed trolley cars which sit in the foreground also have an interesting link to the past. In the 20th century, there were many trolley lines that criss-crossed the Brooklyn landscape and served as transportation for residents. The trolleys were in use until the 1950s. To celebrate the trolleys that would have been seen here for many years, these trolleys were acquired and put in front of the Red Hook Stores permanently. They aren't from New York City originally though. The trolley cars were acquired from Boston and Oslo and were repainted to match the original color scheme of the trolleys that would have been found in Brooklyn in the beginning of the 20th century. Worn by time and natural elements, they are beautiful examples of urban decay. ----
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