Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Coney Island Pumping Station
Address: 2301 Neptune Avenue
Cross Streets: West 23rd Street and Bayview Avenue
Neighborhood: Coney Island
Year Built: 1938-39
Architectural Style: Moderne
Architect: Irwin S. Chanin
Other Buildings by Architect: Chanin Building, Century and Majestic apartment buildings, as well as Broadway theaters and Garment Center buildings, all Manhattan
Landmarked: No, but on National Register of Historic Places (1981)
The story: Way out on the northern side of Coney Island, the City of New York built a Pumping Station building for the Fire Department. The year was 1938, and the city was still awarding prominent city buildings to some of its most important architects of the day. The pumping station was necessary to maintain water pressure on this side of Coney Island, rather ironic considering that right behind it was the beginning of the inlet known as Coney Island Creek, part of the mighty Gravesend Bay.
The station is a one-story oblong building designed in the Moderne style of architecture, the beginnings of the American version of the sleek and modern International Style. This style was quite popular with Depression-era public buildings here in New York, and was hailed as an example of the new clean style of building that was replacing our dated reliance on Colonial Revival and other classical forms of public architecture. This was one of many government PWA (Public Works Projects) buildings constructed during the Great Depression. (more…)