Brooklyn is home to both monumental and everyday examples of this versatile material.
The building is reminiscent of movie palaces and popular eateries of the 1920s and ‘30s, when the craze for this style of ornamentation peaked.
Seen from a distance, this building may look like a rather ordinary commercial building but the upper story is a swirl of abstract Art Deco leaves and flowers.
If you just focus on the main facade of this Bed Stuy building you'll see some fine terra-cotta ornamentation but you will miss the true Art Deco beauty that is around the corner.
Built in 1892 as an office for the company that supplied terra-cotta for Carnegie Hall and the Ansonia Hotel, among others. The company went out of business in the 1930s, and the building became vacant. It was eventually bought in 1965 by Citibank. Its ruins can be found at 42-10 – 42-16 Vernon Avenue, across the street from the sumptuous hedonism of the newly opened Ravel Hotel, and next door to the venerable and recently feted span of the centuried Queensboro Bridge.
Two and one half stories, the structure is actually the front office of an industrial complex that was once surrounded by a 12 foot high wall of brick, which enclosed an open storage yard, a 5 story factory, and the kilnworks one would expect to find at such a large endeavor.