Department of Purchase WarehouseNational Archives and Records Administration, Neg. 15150-C Public Domain
In 1937, the Works Progress Administration built a “low art moderne warehouse for the New York City Department of Purchase, directly under the Brooklyn Bridge and opposite Pete’s Downtown. Approved by the New York City Art Commission, it was designed by Michael J. Mongiello as a long, sleek piece of streamlining with strip windows and orange brick. The roof was specially designed to resist damage from debris falling from the bridge.”
The building took 18 months to construct, with $635,000 in Federal funds.
The Warehouse was built in the Fulton Ferry district at the Brooklyn Bridge. The 1939 W.P.A. Guide to New York City, describes the Fulton Ferry district as “a water-front hamlet in Brooklyn’s earliest days, is now a small isolated sector of musty, dilapidated buildings nestling in theshadows of the Brooklyn Bridge. […] The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge destroyed its beauty and the neighborhood became a slum. Fulton Street, in this sec-tion, is now a sort of Brooklyn Bowery, with flophouses, small shops, rancid restaurants, haunted by vagabonds and derelicts. Talleyrand once lived in a Fulton Street farmhouse opposite Hicks Street, and Tom Paine in a house at the corner of Sands and Fulton Streets.”2
1. Christopher Gray, From Ghost Town to Park Gateway, New York Times, MAY 20, 2007, accessed on April 20, 2017 at (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/realestate/20scap.html).
2. The WPA Guide to New York City, Federal Writers Project, Random House (1939), p. 440, 441.
3. The New York Times: "CITY GETS FEDERAL GIFT; Storehouse Built by WPA Is Presented in Brooklyn," May 20, 1937 (pg. 22)
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on April 21, 2017.
Additional contributions by Evan Kalish.
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