Hunts Point, Bronx
The American Bank Note Company Printing Plant, designed by the architectural firm Kirby, Petit & Green, was an important symbol of progress for the prominent securities printing firm. The leading producer of money, securities, and other types of printed and engraved products, the American Bank Note Company constructed the plant during a period when it restructured its management and expanded its production facilities. Occupying a prominent location near major transportation routes in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant has been a neighborhood focal point since its completion in 1911.
Architecturally, the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant recalls a time when the emerging discipline of industrial engineering was beginning to be incorporated into the exterior expression of new industrial facilities. The form of the American Bank Note Company plant, for example, which consists of a low pressroom wing adjacent to a taller “office,” was designed to accommodate a newly-engineered production line, in addition to an engraving department, similar to other printing plants of the era. Signature elements of industrial architecture, such as the saw-tooth roof and large expanses of industrial sash, allowed ample light into the interior spaces of the plant, aiding both the fine work done in the pressrooms and the meticulous hand work of the engravers. The arsenal-like exterior of the plant, which is surrounded by a brick wall, embodied a sense of strength while also providing security for the specialized printing operation.
The crenellated rectangular tower rising above the Lafayette Avenue wing and the articulation of the walls as massive brick piers forming multi-story arcades reinforced this fortress-like character. Such an expressive approach to industrial architecture would later be abandoned for a more severe, functional aesthetic. Upon completion, the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant was considered one of the most complete facilities of its kind, remaining in operation for nearly 75 years. Today, the expressive and monumental structure continues to serve as an important visual landmark for the Hunts Point neighborhood.
The Early Twentieth Century Development of Hunts Point
Hunts Point, along with Clason’s Point, Screvin’s Neck, and Throg’s Neck, is one of several large salt meadowland peninsulas in the Bronx which jut into the East River. Until the Civil War, Hunts Point was characterized as a rural area where prominent businessmen maintained country estates. As with many New York City neighborhoods, the creation and availability of transit routes to the Hunts Point area in the early twentieth century helped initiate development of the once-remote area. The opening of the extension of the West Side IRT subway into the Bronx in 1904 helped bring about a period of feverish land speculation southeast of Westchester Avenue near the transit line. The opening of the Intervale Avenue subway station in 1910, in particular, has been an acknowledged impetus for development near Hunts Point. The Hunts Point station of the New Haven Railroad, Harlem River branch, which had opened in the 1850s, began serving the area as a station of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway line after 1912.
In addition to increased transportation options, local boosters could point to the many advantages the South Bronx offered to industry, including the excellent rail service and freight terminals of several major lines that provided the means for transporting raw materials, supplies, and finished products conveniently. There were ample sites for building in the vicinity of the waterfront or adjacent to rail lines, and the power to operate facilities was relatively inexpensive because of the easy access to coal deliveries. The growing local labor force could be supplemented by workers traveling to the Bronx via the rail and transit lines. In 1909, there were 700 factories in the Bronx; by 1912, the number of industrial operations in the borough had more than doubled. By the close of the first decade of the twentieth century, the local real estate press enthused that “a great city [was] building along Southern Boulevard.”
At the start of the twentieth century, most of the Hunts Point area was controlled by a small number of real estate developers, including George F. Johnson and James F. Meehan, who were developing elevator apartment houses, flats, and semi-detached houses near the subway stop.3 In 1908, the American Bank Note Company purchased from George F. Johnson a large tract of land on which the “Old Faile mansion” stood. Although change was already underway in Hunts Point at the time the American Bank Note Company purchased its property, the real estate industry considered that sale to be another great impetus for future development in the area.
Not only would the siting of the plant in Hunts Point help encourage other firms to consider the area for their industrial operations, but it was expected that the large number of skilled and highly-paid employees of the company, “a most desirable body of citizens,” would need housing and other services.4 The Hunts Point area was envisioned as one of mixed use, with residences located near to and north of the rail corridor and industrial establishments to the south on the point.5 In fact, the impending purchase of the American Bank Note Company site may have prompted Johnson and Meehan to construct rows of two-family brick houses on both sides of Manida Street, immediately to the east of the American Bank Note Company site. These buildings would soon become part of a residential area that developed northeast of the printing plant, between Garrison and Lafayette Avenues.6 Construction of housing, including semi-detached houses and multiple dwellings of various sizes, in Hunts Point and in the nearby area, accelerated after 1912.
The American Bank Note Company
The American Bank Note Company has long dominated the specialized field of security engraving. The company was formed in 1858 as the result of the merger of seven major note engraving companies based in several cities throughout the United States.9 The printing of bank notes is a unique type of printing, started during the early nineteenth century by several companies which produced paper currency for the large number of newly-established state banks.
Because of the need to protect documents against counterfeiting and to prevent any losses during the course of printing and issue, the production of securities and currency differed from other types of printing. In order to produce documents that could not be easily replicated, the American Bank Note Company manufactured its own machinery and inks, developed specialized printing methods and unusual types of paper, and used vignettes and other complex designs produced by highly skilled engravers. As the preeminent security engraving firm during the nineteenth century, the American Bank Note Company produced bank notes, postage and revenue stamps, bonds, stock certificates, checks, drafts, and letters of credit for many governments and institutions. In 1891, the American Bank Note Company began producing the American Express Company’s new “Travelers Cheques.”
On its founding in 1858, the American Bank Note Company established its New York City headquarters in the Merchants’ Exchange Building at 55 Wall Street.10 The company would remain in the financial district of New York City for several decades, moving its office and plant to 142 Broadway (at the corner of Liberty Street) in 1867, and again to another new facility at 78-86 Trinity Place in 1882. A period of rapid growth during the early years of the twentieth century, however, coupled with the increased value of Lower Manhattan real estate, created the need for other New York facilities.11 Under the leadership of president Warren L. Green, an engraver who rose through the management ranks of the organization, the American Bank Note Company began to update several aspects of its operation.
The removal (in 1908) of the company’s administrative and sales functions to a new building by Kirby, Petit & Green at 70 Broad Street, in the heart of the financial district, was the first step towards easing the space shortage.13 Shortly thereafter (1909-1911), plans were drawn for a new plant at Hunts Point in the Bronx, also designed by Kirby, Petit & Green. This separation of administration and production was accompanied by a restructuring and streamlining of management and a more efficient reorganization of the printing operation. The changes were related to the emerging discipline of industrial engineering, which influenced the industrial production and management of many establishments around the turn of the century.
When the Bronx facility was completed in 1911, the new state-of-the-art plant boasted five-hundred motors powering everything from the facility’s 200 presses to the arc and incandescent lamps located throughout the building. The company apparently maintained a private restaurant and a hospital on site, in addition to machine and carpenter shops in constant operation, a laboratory for developing special inks, and a laundry. At the time the facility was completed, the output of the plant was being shipped to almost “every quarter of the globe” including China, South America, Cuba, and Europe.
The American Bank Note Company was justifiably proud, and considered itself the organization in the bank note industry with the finest office building, the best-equipped plant, the most advanced employee welfare and research programs, and the most skilled designers, engineers, and printers.
“The Most Complete Engraving and Printing Plant in America”1
After considering various locations in the New York City metropolitan area, and after discussing its considerable freight delivery needs with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad – some 10,000 tons annually of mostly paper – the American Bank Note Company selected a large site in Hunts Point for the expansion of its newly decentralized operation.
Located at one of the highest points in the area, just east of the Hunts Point rail station, the plant would be adjacent to small partial blocks which remained vacant for many years near the rail line, and the park-like grounds of the Monastery of Corpus Christi (established in 1889), which occupied the block to the south. These conditions, together with the irregular shape of the block, afforded a self-contained site on which security could be maintained.
The first plan for the printing plant, presented in May 1909, called for a group of four connected buildings placed along the perimeter of the irregularly-shaped block and a pair of towers rising above an elongated structure fronting Lafayette Avenue . The multi-story buildings were intended to house various departments of the operation, while a separate storage building was sited in the yard. The design included a single entrance to the complex through which both employees and materials would pass. This early scheme for the new plant, though characteristic of nineteenth-century industrial design, was not particularly adapted to the needs of the American Bank Note Company operation.
By late 1909, a new layout for the facility had been adopted, one more influenced by the emerging discipline of industrial engineering and more suited to the particular needs of the printing operation. One large T-shaped structure was proposed to occupy nearly the entire block. The shift in design is representative of a change from the practice of arranging production machines into buildings of a standard size, to one of designing spaces to accommodate engineered production lines.18 At the time the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant was being planned, schemes for “ideal” printing plants were being published in printing trade journals. Plans, such as a two-part facility consisting of a large one-story pressroom extending behind a two-story office structure with a tower, printed in one such journal in 1909, apparently influenced the design of the American Bank Note Company facility (see Figure 2).
Later designs for the Bronx plant of the American Bank Note Company were similar in form to industry ideals for printing facilities, featuring a pressroom extending from an “office” wing. The ultimate design for the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant featured a long, narrow, multi-storied “office” wing located along Lafayette Avenue, which was adapted for use as the engraving and lithography departments. The press rooms were housed behind, in the large north “printing press” wing. The two acres of rumbling machinery were located on the upper level of this part of the facility, and were surrounded by a partial mezzanine and offices. The securely guarded plate storage vault, which contained more than 130,000 plates ready to print at a moment’s notice, occupied the lower level, as did several other functions. Joseph R. Ford, the company’s counterfeiter, labored for many years within the offices of the tower above Lafayette Avenue, trying to replicate the firm’s products as part of the internal security program.
Printers, like other manufacturers, placed a high value on economical and efficient facilities that provided ample light and ventilation. The incredible need for sufficient light in both the press rooms and the engraving department of the American Bank Note Company required that daylight supplement electric lighting in these areas. Signature elements of industrial architecture, such as the saw-tooth roof and large expanses of industrial sash, would allow ample light into the interior spaces of the plant, aiding both the fine work done in the pressrooms as well as the meticulous hand work of the engravers, and were thus incorporated into the design of the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant.
Although the aesthetic basis of American industrial building design was rarely strictly utilitarian, neither was it ever firmly rooted in the traditions of recognized architectural styles. In the United States, the American round-arched style, an interpretation of the Rundbogenstil style developed in Germany during the 1830s and 1840s that relied largely on brick and locally available stone, was widely used as the basis for both commercial and industrial building design. The style was largely characterized by the use of round or segmentally arched openings, pilasters and horizontal bands forming grids, elaborate brick corbelling, and molded surrounds. By the late nineteenth century, the articulation of monumental arcades had become the tradition of warehouses and other building types in New York City. The facades of the American Bank Note Company plant clearly follow in this tradition, featuring a combination of large, self-supporting brick piers forming multi-story arcades, and recessed brick spandrels.
Adaptations of Gothic details also became popular in both British and American industrial buildings in the early twentieth century, as architects emphasized entrances with Gothic tracery and ornament, and made visual connections between buttresses and exterior piers, considering this to be an honest expression of a building’s underlying structure. The arsenal-like exterior expression of the American Bank Note Company plant, with its central tower with crenellated parapet, and fortress-like, Gothic-inspired pointed-arch window openings, follows this tradition, while also providing the building with a “pervading sense of strength and security essential to the type of work being performed within.” The massive brick piers, according to the architects, further emphasized the company’s “strength and foreshadow the heavy construction within,” while the tower simultaneously reinforces the structure’s fortress-like character and reflects the ideal plant designs of the era. A brick wall encloses much of the block.
After several years of planning and construction, upon completion in 1911, the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant was considered one of the most complete facilities of its kind in the country and an important symbol of progress for the securities printing firm. The machines in the press room were powered by the most advanced means of electric drive – individual motors attached to each machine. Moreover, the new plan allowed for the expansion of the company’s commercial printing services, while also reducing production costs. In addition to the engraved currency and steel plate divisions’ production of certificates of stock, bonds, and postage stamps, the typographic division printed catalogues, booklets, folders, maps, railroad tickets, and business literature for railroads, steamship lines, and other clients.
In the ensuing years, the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant site would be further developed with auxiliary structures. A garage, designed by Kirby, Petit & Green, was built in a complementary design in 1910 at the corner of Garrison Avenue and Barretto Street. In 1928, the garage was nearly doubled in size and the additional space was used for ink production. A one-story addition designed by architect H.W. Butts in 1912 extended from the Lafayette Avenue wing of the plant along Barretto Street (later known as the Barretto Street wing), and would house a laundry and pulp mill. This structure, raised to a height of three stories in 1928 by architect Oscar P. Cadmus, would later provide additional space for printing presses and the machine shop, and was also designed in a manner sympathetic to the existing buildings on the site. Nearby, other facilities of the American Bank Note Company (not included as part of this designation) included a building used for employee welfare and research across Barretto Street on Lafayette Avenue (1913, W.H. Butts, architect), a distribution center (1925), and a paper storage warehouse (1949).
Although described in the 1939 WPA New York City Guide as “…an area of bleak residences, industrial plants, and tidal flats…,” Hunts Point’s reputation as a thriving economic zone continued to grow during the first half of the twentieth century. The opening of the New York City Produce market in 1967, the Hunts Point Meat Market in 1974, and the designation of Hunts Point as an In-Place Industrial Park in 1980, furthered the area’s viability as a location for industrial and commercial activity later in the century. Despite increased economic growth, however, the 1960s and 1970s represented a period of increasing violence and abandonment for the greater South Bronx area, and for the Hunts Point neighborhood, in particular. By the 1980s, the name Hunts Point had become largely synonymous in New York City with the urban decline ravaging so many of the nation’s inner cities at the time. This low period in the history of Hunts Point, characterized by frequent arson and mass abandonment, was further emphasized by the flight of nearly 60,000 of the area’s residents – approximately two-thirds of the existing population.
In 1984, the American Bank Note Company relocated its printing facilities to a more modern and secure site in Rockland County, New York. Among the numerous motivations for the move were the financial incentives being offered by the upstate town, which included a three percent discount off of the plants’ immense electric bills, made possible by a new state law which was not available for companies already established in other areas. Approximately 500 people were employed by the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant, which had occupied its Hunts Point site for more than seven decades, at the time it relocated.
After 1986, several neighborhood rehabilitation projects were initiated that helped to slowly transform the South Bronx back into a livable community. Zoned for industry, physically separated from the rest of the Bronx by the elevated Bruckner Expressway, and the home of waste transfer stations, warehouses, scrap metal shops, and a 1.9 million square foot food distribution center, it is not surprising that the Hunts Point neighborhood was slower to experience the resurgence. By the late 1990s, however, storefront vacancies on the area’s main street, Hunts Point Avenue, had fallen, from 60 percent in 1997 to 25 percent in 2000. The year 2000 also brought the arrival of many of the area’s first amenities in decades, if not in its history, including its first post office, the first banking service in 25 years, a primary care clinic, youth recreation center, and a new park located along the Bronx River. In 2004, the Fulton Fish Market, a former staple of the Lower Manhattan waterfront since 1853, was relocated to Hunts Point.
Since closing its printing operations in 1986, the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant building has served as home to a variety of tenants. Soon after the property was vacated by the American Bank Note Company, the building was used to provide space for garment manufacturing, and became known as the Bronx Apparel Center. Presently, much of the Lafayette Avenue wing of the building serves as the Bronx branch of the John V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy, an alternative high school for students who have dropped out of or have been dismissed from regular schools. The current owners of the building plan to undertake a commercial adaptive reuse project.
Plan & Circulation
The American Bank Note Company Printing Plant occupies an irregularly-shaped, sloping block bounded by Lafayette and Garrison Avenues to the north and south, and Tiffany and Barretto Streets to the east and west. The site is surrounded by brick walls along Tiffany Street, Garrison Avenue, and Barretto Street, with the main vehicular gate located along Tiffany Street, and the primary pedestrian entry at the corner of Tiffany Street and Garrison Avenue.33 The principal T-shaped structure features a long, narrow wing along Lafayette Avenue (ranging from four to six stories exposed above grade) and a lower, broader, perpendicular printing-press wing extending to the north (three stories above grade). A third, later wing is located along Barretto Street, and follows the curvature of the road. Primary entry into the complex of buildings is via the west facade of the printing-press wing. Additional entries into the buildings can be found along Lafayette Avenue and Barretto Street. A one-story red brick garage is located on the northeast corner of the landmark site. All three wings of the steel-framed building feature red brick exterior walls and originally featured large expanses of industrial steel-sash in window openings. Nearly all facades of the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant, including the associated garage structure and the remaining original sections of the enclosing brick wall, are laid in a five-course American bond. A small, non-historic, one-story gable-roofed metal building is located immediately north of the printing press wing.
Lafayette Avenue Wing
The Lafayette Avenue wing of the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant, while only three bays deep, runs nearly 465 feet in length along Lafayette Avenue. The Lafayette Avenue (south) facade of this wing features three-story arcades formed by substantial brick pilasters that are spanned by recessed brick spandrels, thus separating the facade into 22 equal-sized bays. An additional narrow bay flanks each end of the Lafayette Avenue facade. Each of the pilasters, which separate the bays, is capped by a stepped-brick motif that is repeated on the remaining facades of this wing. Each of the recessed, round-headed arches that span the distance between the pilasters is detailed by a single header course of brick. Beneath each arch, most of the original arched steel-sash windows with operable sections remain with simple, rectangular sills (typical for the site), although unsympathetic glazing repairs and the intrusion of through-the-wall air conditioning units and louvered vents are visible.
The first and second stories of the arcades feature square-headed fenestration surrounded by brick lintels (also typical for the site) and the same simple, rectangular sills of the arched third story fenestration. The windows of the first story are substantially taller than those of the second story. Many of the original steel-sash windows with operable sections also remain along the first and second stories of the arcades, although they, too, have seen unsympathetic alterations and inclusions. Non-historic mesh security grilles have also been added to the first story window exteriors of the arcade located o the right of the central tower. At the second story, to the left of the central tower, two narrow, rectangular windows with iron security grilles appear to be original to the building, and probably serviced an interior area where less daylight and more security was requisite.
Directly above the arcades, the top-most story of the Lafayette Avenue facade is composed of a twobay-deep 1925 addition to the wing, constructed of materials that closely match the original. Similar to the first and second stories of the arcades, this upper story features square-headed fenestration surrounded by the typical brick lintels and rectangular sills. Some of the original steel-sash windows with operable sections remain, while several have been replaced with modern windows or have received unsympathetic alterations and inclusions. Three bays to the left of the central tower feature narrow, rectangular windows with iron security grilles and appear to be original to the addition.
Beneath the three-story arcades, a series of square-headed “basement” level windows is visible, although only five such windows exist to the right of the central tower due to the slope of the site. The steel-sash fenestration with operable sections of this story is flush with the brick facade and features the typical lintels and sills for the site. Modern flashing and other alterations are visible at this level, particularly to the right of the central tower where the glazing of at least one window has been entirely replaced by louvered vents, exhaust flues, and a mesh security grille. Several square headed, “sub-basement” level windows are present to the left of the central tower.
Each set of the paired fenestration of this level is equivalent in width to the windows of the stories above and features the typical lintels and sills. Like the fenestration in other parts of the building, the windows here are industrial steel-sash, but do not feature operable sections. The majority of the windows are covered by mesh security grilles and also have suffered from unsympathetic repairs and replacements of glazed elements.
To the left of the central tower, a “sub-sub-basement” level of windows is visible below grade along a depressed areaway. The windows of this level are identical in size and placement to the windows of the “subbasement” level, and also feature the typical lintels and sills of the site. Nearly all of the original steel-sash windows of this level have been bricked-in or otherwise altered. A non-original iron fence is present along the areaway, both to the left and to the right of the central tower.
The narrow bays that flank each end of the Lafayette Avenue facade are articulated in a similar fashion to the rest of the facade. The majority of the windows are square-headed and align with the other windows of the facade. The windows that align with the arcades complement the design of the arcades, featuring windows that are recessed slightly from the brick facade, with the top-most windows characterized by round-headed arches. Doorways are present at ground level, accessible above two-concrete steps. Above each doorway is a large, rectangular, industrial steel-sash transom. Due to the slope of Lafayette Avenue, the narrow bay to the right of the central tower is only four stories in height, while the bay to the left is six stories tall. The transom of the left bay is presently obscured by a mesh security grille. Non-historic signage is also present above each doorway.
The nine-story, rectangular tower that rises through the center of the Lafayette Avenue wing is carefully articulated as a more solid volume and is divided into two equal-sized recessed, pointed-arch bays containing narrow windows. The recessed openings containing the windows widen gradually in steps as they rise to pointed-arch terminations. The pointed arches are detailed by a single header course of brick with three consecutive recessed brick arches beneath. The pointed-arch window openings are present on all four of the tower’s facades, as are the narrow, slit windows of the tower’s top-most story.
Below the pointed-arch windows on all four sides, the spandrels are corbelled to meet the flanking piers and suggest balconies. The windows that align with the rounded-arch windows of the arcades to the left and the right of the central tower repeat the rounded-arch motif and are also articulated with a single header course of brick. At the ground level of the tower there are two openings, not original to the building, one a raised garage door, the other a standard doorway. To the left of the raised garage door, at both the “sub-basement” and “sub-sub-basement” levels, steel-sash windows have been replaced with glass block. All of the remaining windows of the tower retain their original steel-sash windows with operable sections and feature the typical lintels for the site. The rectangular sills beneath the windows within the bays extend beyond the window openings, spanning the width of the recessed areas. Below the third-story window openings, a balcony supported by concrete brackets spans the tower. A flagpole once rose above the tower’s crenellated parapet but is no longer extant.
The east and west facades of the Lafayette Avenue wing of the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant are articulated in a very similar manner to the Lafayette Avenue facade. Both the east and west facades feature substantial brick pilasters spanned by recessed brick spandrels that separate them into two equal-sized bays. A shorter, third bay to the north projects slightly from the west facade, but is recessed slightly at the east facade. The bays closest to Lafayette Avenue on both the east and west facades feature narrow, recessed rectangular windows, while the remaining openings feature the typical large expanses of industrial steel-sash windows. The typical lintels and sills are also present on both the east and west facades.
The windows of the two bays closest to Lafayette Avenue, including the rounded-arch windows of the top-story of the arcades, align with similar windows along the south facade. The top-most story of the shorter, northern bays of the east and west facades also feature rounded-arch windows. On the west facade, the large, square-headed windows of the “sub-sub-basement” level have been filled in with brick. Cellular phone antennas are present on this facade, particularly along the shorter, northern bay. Attempts to camouflage the antennas as brick elements have been made. Two vehicular openings have been cut into the shorter, northern bay of the otherwise identical east facade.
The north facade of the Lafayette Avenue wing is similarly articulated as multiple bays separated by substantial brick pilasters. To the west of the printing press wing, nine four-story arcades are visible, each capped with a rounded-arch window opening. Recessed above the roofline, an additional two stories are visible. The fenestration of these top-most stories align with similarly placed windows along the south facade of the Lafayette Avenue wing. Many of the original steel-sash windows with operable sections still remain along the north facade, although many, particularly at the bottom-most story, have unsympathetic alterations and inclusions, including at least one roll-down security gate. Adjacent to the north facade, a sheet-metal clad chimney stands next to a small, adjoining, one-story brick structure. The chimney, though original to the site, has apparently been shortened since the time of construction. Fire escapes are visible on the north facade.
With the exception of the crenellated tower, the Lafayette Avenue wing of the American Bank Note Company Printing Plant features a flat roof beyond a shallow parapet. The parapet features terra-cotta coping on all sides. There have long been three bulkheads on the roof of this wing: one near the west end, one just west of the central tower, and one near the center of the wing. Non-historic lighting, cellular phone antennas, security cameras, and signage, are present throughout.
Printing Press Wing
The larger, printing press wing, located north of and perpendicular to the Lafayette Avenue wing, is articulated similarly to the Lafayette Avenue wing, divided into three-story arcades framed by shallow pilasters. The pilasters of the printing press wing terminate with square caps, rather than the stepped caps present on the Lafayette Avenue wing. The east and west facades are divided into 16 bays each.
The seven bays adjacent to the Lafayette Avenue wing are somewhat taller and wider than the nine bays located to the rear (north). The difference in height is made up by slightly taller third-story windows present in the seven bays adjacent to the Lafayette Avenue wing and accommodate a partial mezzanine level inside. The north facade of the printing press wing is divided into 11 bays, while the wing is fully attached to the Lafayette Avenue wing to the south. The top-most story of the three visible facades of the printing press wing feature rounded-arch windows similar to those of the Lafayette Avenue wing. To the east, only this upper story is visible from street level, as the rest of the facade is obscured by the Barretto Street wing. The north facade is partially obscured from street level by the brick wall that surrounds the landmark site.
A loading platform extends along much of the west side of the printing press wing. At the main entrance to the building, which is located at the approximate mid-point of the west facade, a canopy protects four arched openings. The main entrance currently features two pairs of non-historic aluminum-framed doors, and is slightly recessed in its arched opening below a blocked transom. A non-historic iron railing presently lines the loading platform.
The saw-tooth roofline and numerous vents are visible above the edge of the roof parapet of the printing press wing. Several fire escapes serving the roof and upper stories are present on both the north and west facades of this wing. Many of the original industrial steel-sash windows have been replaced or altered, including the addition of through-the-wall air conditioning units. Towards the center of the north facade, a non-original third-story garage door is present. A shallow parapet surrounds the printing press wing on all four sides and is capped by terra-cotta coping, similar to the Lafayette Avenue wing.
– From the 2008 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report
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