Early 20th Century Dairy Buildings Enter Designation Process

Empire State Dairy Company Buildings. Image Credit: LPC.

Empire State Dairy Company Buildings. Image Credit: LPC.

Two buildings in former dairy complex identified as potentially worthy of preservation in advance of proposed East New York rezoning. At a meeting on March 8, 2016, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to add the Empire State Dairy Company Buildings at 2840 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn to its calendar, formally commencing the designation process. The two buildings together prominently occupy a full block face along Atlantic Avenue. Landmarks staff undertook a survey of the neighborhood to complement the proposed rezoning of East New York. The two buildings in the dairy complex were determined to be the most architecturally and historically significant in the area.

The earlier of the two buildings, completed in 1907 was designed by Thomas Engelhardt, one of the architects of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Complex in Greenpoint. The Renaissance/Romanesque Revival building features extensive terra-cotta decorations. The second building in the complex proposed for designation was designed by Otto Strack and completed in 1915. Landmarks research department described the building’s style as “Abstracted Classicist,” with ornamentation influenced by the Viennese Secession. The building features large polychromatic tile mosaics facing Atlantic Avenue. The mosaics depict pastoral scenes, nodding to the agricultural nature of the dairy company’s business.

Landmark staff attested that the building were important remnants of Brooklyn’s industrial past, and significant their role in the history of the dairy industry.

Chair Srinivasan stated that hearing on the buildings’ designation would be held in July.

LPC: Empire State Dairy Co. Building and Complex, 2840 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn (LP-2575) (March 8, 2016).

By:  Jesse Denno (Jesse is a full-time staff writer at the Center for NYC Law)

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