Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Formerly Thomas Paulson & Son, Inc., now the Green Building
Address: 450 Union Street
Cross Streets: Corner Bond Street
Year Built: 1931
Architectural Style: Utilitarian factory
Landmarked: No, but part of proposed Gowanus Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places
The story: Gowanus has a lot of great factory buildings, with the best of them, architecturally speaking, dating back to the 19th century. According to some sources, this one dates back to that time, as well, but some research shows that that is not true. It was built in 1931, but that takes nothing away from its size, placement in the overall street grid, and charm.
In 1849, when the Gowanus was first being developed, this part of the area was a swampy part of the Gowanus Creek. The canal was dredged and the bulkhead was built around 1869, raising up the land. The first company to use the site may have been the Cement Drain and Water Pipes Company, which shows up on a map after 1869. No buildings stood on the location.
The block of Bond Street between Union and President was taken up by the T.H. Lidford Coal and Wood Yard, which shows up on Brooklyn city maps from at least 1888 until 1904. The entire block consisted of wood framed buildings, including two very long buildings that held the company’s supply of coal. One of these long buildings occupied the same space as today’s building. (more…)