Proposed LPC Designations of July 24th
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is holding a public hearing on the proposed designations of 511 and 513 Grand Street in Manhattan, and the proposed Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District in Brooklyn, on Tuesday, July 24, 2007.
The hearings will take place at the Commission’s offices, located at 1 Centre Street, 9th Floor North, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Any information you can provide about the buildings’ significance and condition is relevant to the agency’s consideration. Below is a statement of significance for each proposed designation, a map of the proposed district and photographs of the buildings.
For more information, contact Diane Jackier, Director of External Affairs, [email protected]
511 and 513 GRAND STREET HOUSES
Borough of Manhattan
A vestige of the Lower East Side’s status as a more well-to-do neighborhood in the early nineteenth century, 511 and 513 Grand Street, apparently constructed as a double house ca. 1827-28, is among the increasingly rare examples of the Federal style rowhouses that were built in Manhattan. Both buildings were constructed for real estate investors Henry Barclay and James Lent and were well-located on Grand Street, one of the Lower East Side’s major east-west arteries. 511 has retained its original 2-1/2 story form and peaked roof with dormers. While altered on the ground floor, 513 has retained its original two-bay, 2-1/2 story form, Flemish bond brick cladding, rectangular stone lintels and stone sills, and peaked roof with single dormer, all of which are characteristic of the Federal style. The survival of both buildings is significant in a neighborhood that had been redeveloped with tenements and housing projects in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Proposal for Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District
Borough of Brooklyn
The proposed historic district is located in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, along the north side of Greenpoint Avenue, the east side of West Street, and Kent Street. The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, also known as A. W. Faber, was founded by Eberhard Faber (1822-1879) in 1861. Following a disastrous fire at the Manhattan plant during 1872, it moved to Brooklyn where the business remained until 1956. The company is credited with bringing German lead pencil making techniques to the United States and Faber would grow to become one of Brooklyn’s most important factories, employing hundreds of mainly female workers. In addition to mass producing low-cost pencils, the Brooklyn plant made pen holders and related stationary items.
The earliest structures are found on West Street, extending the full block between Kent Street and Greenpoint Avenue. All date from before 1887, including the two south buildings that records suggest were acquired from a faience pottery works. These buildings are decorated with stone lintels that display the company’s logo, a feature that Faber trademarked for use on his pencils in 1865. Subsequent buildings, dating from before the mid-1910s, were somewhat larger and designed to complement the earlier structures, displaying carefully detailed brickwork and pedimented parapets that display the star and diamond motif. The final building constructed was added in 1924. It was the largest, and arguably most memorable, structure in the complex. Six stories tall, the upper floor is embellished with stars and pencils, gigantic glazed terra cotta reliefs that proudly advertised the company’s product to pedestrians and passengers using the nearby ferry. Built over five decades, these buildings provide a short history of the development of industrial architecture in Brooklyn, as well as one company’s rise to national prominence.