Read Part 1 of this story here.

The huge gray cement factory buildings that span Sunset Park’s shoreline between 30th and 37th streets are the remaining structures of Brooklyn’s largest industrial park, Bush Terminal.

The complex was the brainchild of Irving T. Bush, the son of an oilman-turned-yachtsman. Today, these buildings are known as Industry City, an evolving complex made up of workspaces for Brooklyn’s creative economy, as well as future dining, entertainment and shopping destinations.

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“A man about to commit a crime would stand appalled at the sight of a station house such as this,” the Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote in 1892 of Sunset Park’s once splendid and now crumbling but landmarked police precinct station house and stables at 4302 4th Avenue.

In 1892, such a statement was meant to praise the building’s intimidating, castle-like features, but today it is equally fitting as a reference to the unfortunate extent of decay in what was clearly a once-beautiful structure.

Read Part 2 of this story here.

In the last few years, Sunset Park’s Industry City, a 16-building complex along 3rd Avenue, has become a hub for artist studios and manufacturing bases for local food purveyors and makers, as well as outposts of large companies like Time Inc. The complex has seen increasingly more foot traffic, too, with popular dance parties in the summer and now the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg through the winter.

Its namesake — industry — is still very much at its core. There are big things in store for Industry City, which today is run by Jamestown Properties, Belvedere Capital and Angelo Gordon, along with Cammeby’s International and FBE Limited, starting with a staggering $1 billion redevelopment plan that was announced earlier this year.

Instead of going toward high-rise luxury condos, this influx of big money is being used to renovate, repurpose and revitalize the massive complex, eventually bringing 20,000 jobs to the vast industrial hub that was once called Bush Terminal.

But how did we get here? It involves a man named Rufus Bush, floating railroad cars and bananas.

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The ongoing state of construction throughout Brooklyn is not only producing more buildings, but noise complaints, safety concerns, and many unhappy residents.

In a story in the New York Times examining real estate development-related stresses and complaints, three of four projects covered are in Brooklyn: an affordable housing addition to the Sunset Park Library (pictured above), the Pierhouse complex in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the ongoing development at the former Long Island College Hospital.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

No matter how big or small, excess stuff has to be stored somewhere. Before this great building became a self-storage facility, it stored armaments and supplies for the National Guard.

Name: Former Brooklyn Arsenal, now Extra Space self-storage
Address: 6301 2nd Avenue
Cross Streets: 63rd and 64th streets
Neighborhood: Sunset Park
Year Built: 1924-26
Architectural Style: Fortress
Architect: Sullivan W. Jones
Other works by architect: Alfred E. Smith Building in Albany, City Hall in Buffalo. Also armory in Hempstead, Long Island
Landmarked: No

The crenellated castle armories of the late 19th century were the inspiration for more-modern armory architects. The fortresses on many of our neighborhood streets were built for shock and awe, and that tradition carried through into the new century. But here, overlooking New York Bay, the inspiration came from another military installation.

This arsenal is next door to the U.S. Army Military Ocean Terminal, architect Cass Gilbert’s massive reinforced concrete staging area and warehouse for the military built in 1918. This building was designed to complement it.

Gilbert may have brought the “awe,” but this building provided the “shock.” After all, it was designed to be filled with guns, ammo and the armaments of war.