Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Former Benjamin Moore & Co. factory, now offices
Address: 231-233 Front Street
Cross Streets: Bridge and Gold streets
Neighborhood: Vinegar Hill
Year Built: 1908
Architectural Style: Early 20th century commercial
Architect: William B. Tubby
Other buildings by architect: Charles M. Pratt mansion, Pratt Institute Library, and other Pratt commissions in Clinton Hill. Also fire houses, libraries, row houses and freestanding houses throughout Brooklyn
Landmarked: Yes, part of Vinegar Hill Historic District (1997)
The story: Benjamin Moore is one of America’s most well-known commercial products. Anyone who has ever chosen a paint color for their walls knows about Benjamin Moore paint, whether one uses their products or not. But very few people realize that the Benjamin Moore Company started right here in Brooklyn. Even fewer realize that Benjamin Moore himself did not go it alone. He had a brother, and the original name of their paint company was Moore Brothers, and it was headquartered on Atlantic Avenue.
In 1883, Benjamin and his older brother Robert M. Moore opened up their paint and varnish business at 55 Atlantic Avenue, in the middle of an industrial complex that once stood between Hicks, State and Columbia Streets, the same block that now holds the iconic Montero’s Bar. The brothers were from County Monahan, Ireland, and came to the United States in the 1870s. They had pooled their money and with $2000, rented a floor of a five story factory building nestled in the middle of the block, behind the tenement buildings that faced Atlantic. (more…)