The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for November 2011

frightful pull

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

During the hot part of the summer of 2011, Kevin Walsh was planning one of his Second Saturday tours, and as your humble narrator had agreed to assemble the tour booklet for the outing- I was along for the ride, which is how I ended up in in Brooklyn (the “lands of my boit”). My mom used to refer to this intersection of Flatbush and Church Avenues at “flatboosh and choich” when I was a kid, spoke in hushed tones about “the shawpping dat uzed to be dere”, and my dad avoided it like the plague because of the traffic.

The highlight of my trip to Brooklyn that day was that I was going to Lovecraft Country.

Here’s what Mr. Kevin Walsh of forgotten-ny said about the place

Flatbush Dutch Reformed has had three incarnations: a wood structure built on orders from Governor General Peter Stuyvesant in 1654, a stone building in 1699, and the current one built from Manhattan schist dating to 1798. The churchyard goes back to the church’s very beginnings and contains stones inscribed in both English and Dutch. Among the many stained glass windows are a few by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The tower contains a clock and bell that are dated 1796, plus a 10-bell chime that was cast by the Meneely Foundry of Troy, N.Y., and installed in 1913.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

For those of you who are not enormous nerds, H.P. Lovecraft was a writer who lived in Brooklyn for awhile, but he always longed for his New England homeland. Weird Fiction was his bag, and his work survived him. H.P was a dedicated long distance walker, and an amateur historian who made the best of his time in New York visiting significant and historically interesting sites all over the City.

“Lovecraft Country” is a fan term for the fictional locations and mythic locales described so vividly by the author, and refers to coastal Massachusetts more often than not. In Brooklyn though, things are real, and so is “Lovecraft Country”.

from wikipedia

Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church Complex, also referred to more simply as the Flatbush Reformed Church, is a historic Dutch Reformed church (now a member of the Reformed Church in America) at 890 Flatbush Avenue and 2101-2103 Kenmore Terrace in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York. The complex consists of the church, church house, parsonage, and cemetery. The congregation was founded in 1654. The 2 1⁄2-story stone church building was constructed in 1796 and features a stone tower with stone belfry. The stained glass windows are by Tiffany studios and commemorate the descendants of many early settlers of Flatbush. The church house is a 2 1⁄2-story red brick and limestone building. The parsonage is a 2 1⁄2-story wood-frame house moved to its present site in 1918. The cemetery is the last resting place of most of the members of the early Dutch families of Flatbush. The earliest legible grave marker dates to 1754.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

While exploring the place for myself, as Kevin (and Newtown Pentacle’s Far Eastern Correspondent Armstrong) was dying from heat exhaustion and taking cover in the shade of a venerable oak, one thing that gained my attention were the names on the stones. Suydam, Martense… These are character names from some of Lovecraft’s stories. Lovecraft saw evil in New York City, and was terrified by the tight quarters and crowded streets which distinguished the immigrant era. (He was of course, kind of a racist, very much a product of his time- don’t forget how common such tribalism was, and how novel and new the non ethnocentric and very all inclusive “progressive politique and so called meritocracy” is).

Kevin and Armstrong both guzzled water, but I was not parched and required only further explorations.

H.P. Lovecraft said

My coming to New York had been a mistake; for whereas I had looked for poignant wonder and inspiration in the teeming labyrinths of ancient streets that twist endlessly from forgotten courts and squares and waterfronts to courts and squares and waterfronts equally forgotten, and in the Cyclopean modern towers and pinnacles that rise blackly Babylonian under waning moons, I had found instead only a sense of horror and oppression which threatened to master, paralyse, and annihilate me.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the places which comes up again and again in his writings is this very churchyard, apparently it left quite the impression upon Lovecraft, and inspired his story “The Hound”. He confessed to desecrating this graveyard, incidentally, which is strictly against Newtown Pentacle policy.

This is also why I don’t guzzle water while in graveyards, as such quaffing will inevitably result in the need for urination, which might lead to desecration.

(First Calvary in Queens has two well maintained and world class public lavatories at the entrance gates, btw.)

H.P. Lovecraft was actually here in 1922

On September 16, 1922, Lovecraft toured the Flatbush Reformed Church in Brooklyn with his friend Rheinhart Kleiner, writing about the visit in a letter:

Around the old pile is a hoary churchyard, with internments dating from around 1730 to the middle of the nineteenth century…. From one of the crumbling gravestones–dated 1747–I chipped a small piece to carry away. It lies before me as I write–and ought to suggest some sort of horror-story. I must place it beneath my pillow as I sleep… who can say what thing might not come out of the centuried earth to exact vengeance for his desecrated tomb? And should it come, who can say what it might not resemble?[

- photo by Mitch Waxman

This particular parcel of “Lovecraft Country” has an awful lot of New York City history associated with it, Peter Stuyvesant and the “Degenerate Dutch” and all that. Road extensions of a toll road called Flatbush Avenue past a watch tower… Frankly, the sort of “historian history” which your humble narrator always bolloxes up. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rob Schweiger, Brooklyn’s borough historian, and he can offer a far more cogent history of this place than I can. So can the oft mentioned Kevin Walsh.

I can tell you a lot about Newtown Creek and it’s locale, but this part of colonial Brooklyn ain’t my bag.

from “the Lurking Fear”, courtesy hplovecraft.com

No one outside the backwoods had believed these varying and conflicting stories, with their incoherent, extravagant descriptions of the half-glimpsed fiend; yet not a farmer or villager doubted that the Martense mansion was ghoulishly haunted. Local history forbade such a doubt, although no ghostly evidence was ever found by such investigators as had visited the building after some especially vivid tale of the squatters. Grandmothers told strange myths of the Martense spectre; myths concerning the Martense family itself, its queer hereditary dissimilarity of eyes, its long, unnatural annals, and the murder which had cursed it

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t know why I’m always drawn to cemetery trees, a humble narrator will confess, but there’s always something about these vegetable growths fed by an obvious and morbid nutrition. An ominous portent, a spooky resonance, a dissonant note. For some reason, my perception leads me to see shapes in their whorls and crags, shapes which form into recognizable “things”- much like searching for the shape of a dragon in cloud formations.

The scientifically minded call it Pareidolia.

from “The Horror at Red Hook”, courtesy hplovecraft.com

Suydam was a lettered recluse of ancient Dutch family, possessed originally of barely independent means, and inhabiting the spacious but ill-preserved mansion which his grandfather had built in Flatbush when that village was little more than a pleasant group of colonial cottages surrounding the steepled and ivy-clad Reformed Church with its iron-railed yard of Netherlandish gravestones.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I don’t think I get enough sleep, that’s what it is. It renders me highly suggestible, and perhaps I should drink some more water, and follow Mr. Walsh’s example when visiting “Lovecraft Country“.

from wikipedia

Oneirophrenia is a hallucinatory, dream-like state caused by several conditions such as prolonged sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, or drugs (such as ibogaine). From the Greek words “ὄνειρο” (oneiro, “dream”) and “φρενός” (phrenos, “mind”). It has some of the characteristics of simple schizophrenia, such as a confusional state and clouding of consciousness, but without presenting the dissociative symptoms which are typical of this disorder.
Persons affected by oneirophrenia have a feeling of dream-like unreality which, in its extreme form, may progress to delusions and hallucinations. Therefore, it is considered a schizophrenia-like acute form of psychosis which remits in about 60% of cases within a period of two years. It is estimated that 50% or more of schizophrenic patients present oneirophrenia at least once.

loose and displaced

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent activities had carried your humble narrator to… Staten Island… A friend’s photography was included in a gallery exhibit at the venerable Snug Harbor, and wishing to both show support for another photographer and to witness his work in print form- I began the long journey from Astoria in Queens to the outermost of boroughs. After exiting the ferry, I was titillated by the sudden appearance of the gargantuan “Hanjin Lisbon” being guided toward the Kill Van Kull by two Moran tugs.

from marinetraffic.com

  • Hanjin Lisbon Vessel’s Details
  • Ship Type: Cargo
  • Year Built: 2003
  • Length x Breadth: 278 m X 40 m
  • DeadWeight: 67979 t
  • Speed recorded (Max / Average): 21 / 20.6 knots (20.6 knots = 23.7060566 mph)

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Like all the ocean going vessels of its type, the Lisbon is a lumbering monster of a ship. Nearly 1,000 feet in length, the cargo ship was most likely headed to the Port facilities at Newark Bay, and requires the use of tender boats to navigate the relatively narrow and hazard fraught coastal leg of its journey to New York harbor from some impossibly foreign port. It’s titan engines and onboard electronics can propel the ship through open ocean with great accuracy, of course, but the giant cargo ship can’t exactly “stop on a dime”.

from marinetraffic.com

MARION MORAN Vessel’s Details

    • Ship Type: Tug
    • Year Built: 1982
    • Length x Breadth: 39 m X 12 m
    • DeadWeight: 10 t
    • Speed recorded (Max / Average): 14.5 / 8.9 knots
    • Flag: USA [US]
    • Call Sign: WRS2924
    • IMO: 8121812, MMSI: 366941020

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Tugboat and towing services of the modern era, like Moran towing, are inheritors of centuried wisdom passed down from generations of mariners. The complex currents, mores, and eddies of the harbor are well known to the crews of these vessels and their job includes guiding such massive visitors to the port into safe harborage. Two tugs were observed at work, the Marion Moran and the Gramma Lee T. Moran.

from tugboatinformation.com

Moran Towing began operations in 1860 when founder Michael Moran opened a towing brokerage, Moran Towing and Transportation Company, in New York Harbor. In 1863, the company was transformed from a brokerage into an owner-operator of tugboats when it purchased a one-half interest in the tugboat Ida Miller for $2,700. Over time Moran acquires a fleet of tugboats. It was Michael Moran who painted the first white “M” on a Moran tugboat stack, in 1880.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Iconic, Moran tugs are distinguished their large white “M” logo and the white and maroon “color way” which allows them to be identified at great distances across the harbor. Like all tugs, they are built with highly reinforced steel superstructures and powerful engines that allow them to pursue an occupation which requires the ability to precisely handle tonnages which are clumsy and thousands of times their own weight.

from morantug.com

The LEE T. MORAN is an expression of brute power and utility that belies the refinements of technical engineering below her waterline. There, twin ports are cut into the steel hull to make room for the tug’s Z-drive units. On the floor of the shop they look like the lower units of giant outboard engines. Made by Ulstein, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce, the Z-drive functions much like an outboard. Imagine two outboards extending straight down through the hull, each having the ability to rotate 360 degrees. That makes even a heavy, 92-foot tug with a 450-ton displacement very maneuverable. “It can turn on a dime,” says Doughty. “The hull bottom is slightly flatter to adjust to the two drive units. By turning each drive out 90 degrees, the captain can go from full-ahead (14 knots) to a dead stop in no time.”

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Containerized shipping is what makes the modern world tick, of course, and has enabled the business model of “just in time delivery” to take hold. The steel boxes which adorn the Lisbon’s decks will be unloaded by Gantry Crane at the dock and will find their way onto either rail or truck for delivery to the final consignee. What isn’t commonly known about these cargo ships is that ordinary people can book passage onboard, finding accommodation in a variety of staterooms, and cruise the world on a proverbial “slow boat to china”.

from hanjin.com

Hanjin Shipping (http://www.hanjin.com President& CEO Young Min Kim) is Korea’s largest and one of the world’s top ten container carriers that operates some 60 liner and tramper services around the globe transporting over 100 million tons of cargo annually. Its fleet consists of some 200 containerships, bulk and LNG carriers.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

The mind reels at such suggestions, and your humble narrator is both titillated at the notion of meeting and interacting with the sailors onboard (undoubtedly Koreans, Tagalog, and Chinese- citizens from all over the manufacturing hubs of the Pacific) and terrified by the lore and knowledge they must carry with them about the true nature of the world. Often these cargo ships will encounter pirates, terrorists, and other malingering forces on both the open sea and in coastal waters. Perhaps they have other experiences, of the sort which sailors do not discuss with outsiders, which only a hip pocket flask of raw whiskey might pry out of them.

from wikipedia

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was formed in 1921 and the Newark Bay Channels were authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Acts in 1922. Shipping operations languished after the war, and in 1927, the City of Newark started construction of Newark Airport (now known as Newark Liberty International Airport) on the northwest quadrant of the wetlands which lay between Port Newark and the edge of the developed city. Port Authority took over the operations of Port Newark and Newark Airport in 1948 and began modernizing and expanding both facilities southward. In 1958, the Port Authority dredged another shipping channel which straightened the course of Bound Brook, the tidal inlet forming the boundary between Newark and Elizabeth. Dredged materials was used to create new upland south of the new Elizabeth Channel, where the Port Authority constructed the Elizabeth Marine Terminal. The first shipping facility to open upon the Elizabeth Channel was the new 90-acre (36 ha) Sea-Land Container Terminal, which was the prototype for virtually every other container terminal constructed thereafter.

The building of the port facility antiquated most of the traditional waterfront port facilities in New York Harbor, leading to a steep decline in such areas as Manhattan, Hoboken, and Brooklyn. The automated nature of the facility requires far fewer workers and does not require the opening of containers before onward shipping.

mighty temples

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

The neo gothic handiwork of architect Morrell Smith is hard to miss as one moves about Queens Plaza, and it is known to all as the former Bank of Manhattan Tower. Formerly the tallest structure in the borough of Queens at 14 stories (roughly 210 feet), the 1927 vintage building has since been dwarfed by the Citibank Megalith at Court Square. Smith was a noted architect of the early 20th century and had his hands in more than one landmarked structure in Queens (and Manhattan), and his projects also included the notable Jamaica Savings Bank which is found further east.

Crenellated, its spire carries a clock.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Personal observation has revealed that these clocks are seldom if ever accurate, and often they do not match up with each other. My understanding, gleaned from municipal and real estate industrial complex propaganda, is that the hidden mechanisms which drive these clocks are undergoing some sort of restoration as is the rest of the building- although specific detail remains elusive. The building itself is another one of the “black holes” in the historical record which distinguish western Queens- a noteworthy structure erected to serve a high profile company sited in a prominent location which is nevertheless relegated to an architectural footnote because its location is outside of Manhattan.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Your humble narrator acknowledges that, as always, whenever the subject of Queens Plaza and it’s locale comes up one must refer to the hierophants at the Greater Astoria Historical Society- however- one does not wish to stand on the shoulders of others forever and I have resisted making inquiries with them about the place. Unfortunately, independent research has offered little surcease to my curiosity about the clock tower or offered the deeper story and meaning of this building. Rumors of late 20th century bacchanals and Astorian apocrypha about certain rites conducted in its lofty heights during the thunder crazed nights of the the second world war era notwithstanding, there is a dearth of information available for me to share with you about the place. An open call is therefore made to you, Lords and Ladies of Newtown, for any information which might serve to inform your fellow citizenry on this enigmatic structure.

metempsychoses and shudders

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

Abjurations of fealty to self interest aside, your humble narrator is suffering some sort of delirium these days. Wandering thoughts and an inability to maintain focus plague my waking hours, and certain hallucinatory visions experienced during the nocturne haunt. Conversation has become difficult to follow or respond to, and paranoid imaginings or unheralded agitations at obviously minor issues color my days with fear, aggression, and anxiety. All I can see lying before me is devastation, hopelessness, and a slouching path leading to destruction.

I’m all ‘effed up.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Were it possible that I could just be like the humans who infest this great hive, satisfied with loping along the streets whilst spouting colorful aphorisms, pronouncing vainglorious affirmations of personal worth. If only adorning myself with gaudy baubles or tailored garments, reflecting the height of current taste and fashion, could allow surcease from the diabolical internal dialogues which torment and disabuse. Such adolescent fury and desire is unacceptable in an adult, let alone one whose beard has gone white.

The waste meadows are where I belong, their devastating loneliness and abandonment mirror my own.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Apotheosis finds a home here, along the tributaries of the Newtown Creek. Artifice is struck down by the concretized reality of hubris, and the shape of the future can be discerned in studying the past. Notions such as this force me into a separate form of existence which is ruled by the dark emotions of fear, resentment, and anger. Such is my lot then, to exist as the broken, the barren, and at the dazed and disappointed edge of man’s world.

I must find contentment in my role as Outsider, it would seem.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 17, 2011 at 11:34 am

vague stones and symbols

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- photo by Mitch Waxman

A caprice which your humble narrator enjoys, long have I referred to this part of the Newtown Creek as “DUGABO” – an abbreviation for “Down Under the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge Onramp“. Historically, this has always been home to companies who deal in the refining and distribution of fuel- whether it was spermaceti oil, coal, natural gas, or petroleum. Standard Oil had a base here, and it’s modern day incarnation as Exxon Mobil is still very much present in the locale.

A long history of fires and industrial accidents surround DUGABO, from the Locust Hill and Sone and Fleming refinery fires in the 1880′s to a 1919 immolation which consumed the bridge itself. Standing in the middle of this area of concentrated wealth and industry, however, is a 9 story tall enigma.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

425 Greenpoint Avenue is the address of this structure, and its bold face designates itself as “The Miller Building”.

Like many of the enormous factory structures which grace the Newtown Creek Watershed, its original purpose has been lost to changing economic times and in modernity it serves as a self storage warehouse. The building is visible from great distance, and for those of involved in the history of Newtown Creek- something of a mystery. Even my departed friend Bernard Ente, whose encyclopedic knowledge of Newtown Creek was legendary, was stumped as to its original purpose. It looks for all the world like a grain terminal. It’s not.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

First hand accounts from current occupants of the building offered few clues to its origins, although descriptions of an ad hoc pet cemetery located on its grounds tantalize with their wild suggestions. It is located in a petrochemical center, a poured concrete structure which is at a minimum 90 years old and some 9 stories in height (which is remarkable in itself), and stands on some of the most valuable real estate (from a early to mid 20th century point of view) in New York City.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

All the usual sources, including the estimable database maintained by the NYC Department of Buildings, return few if any results on its origins. this is often the case with older structures that were built in the so called outer boroughs around the time of “consolidation” and I’m sure that somewhere in the Brooklyn Borough Hall there must exist a record of the place in the atavist files of the City of Brooklyn- but I have not been able to find them. Accordingly, an attempt has been made to “beat the brush” amongst the many historical enthusiasts I have been fortunate enough to meet over the last few years.

T.J. Connick, a scholar who I’ve never met in person and know only from the vast interwebs, has been immensely helpful in the endeavor and is singled out for generously adding to the research effort.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Modern cohorts who run a large petro chemical business based on Kingsland Avenue responded to my queries about the Miller Building with “it used to be a glue factory” as late as the 1970′s. In fact, many Greenpointers will repeat this, as a 20th century glue and varnish factory was housed here which was legendary for its effluent smells. The earliest mention I’ve been able to find about the place, and which surely discusses the antecedent of the modern structure, is in a 1911 trade journal.

From Paint, oil and drug review, Volume 52 , courtesy google books

Unknown cause, Tuesday, July 11, destroyed the plant of the Charles Miller varnish works, at Greenpoint avenue and Newtown Creek, Brooklyn. The flames threatened surrounding factories, but the firemen kept the blaze confined to the doomed building. At the time there were but few employes in the place, and they escaped without injury. The damage was estimated at $3,000.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Logically- the modern Miller Building must have been erected sometime in the eight years between the 1911 fire and a conflagration in 1919 known as “The Standard Oil fire”. “The Miller building” discussed in the link below is obviously the modern structure.

From 1919′s Insurance newsweek, Volume 20, courtesy google books

Across the street from this plant is the Miller Building, which is fireproof and has wired glass windows. This building was undamaged, and prevented the fire from reaching the buildings of the Green Point Storage Co., in which are stored naval supplies such as resin and tar. The New York fire insurance companies also had lines on this risk. A remarkable fact was that no one was killed. This was probably due to the fact that exploding oil does not have the force of powders, and also much less concussion. The tanks that were blown, however, were twisted and torn as if some colossal force had thrown them down from a great height. The blazing oil which ran about in rivulets was a constant menace to the other tanks. The office of the Standard Oil Co., which was supposed to have been of fireproof construction, was destroyed, but most of the important records were saved.

Additionally, the 1919 fire was explored here at your Newtown Pentacle, in the posting “Tales of Calvary 11- Keegan and Locust Hill“.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

T.J. Connick, in answer to my queries about the Miller Building, sent along these fascinating tidbits which are presented as received:

  • Charles A. Miller appears, as described in my previous email, as father to Charles Clifford Miller.
  • It appears that Charles A Miller and Mrs. raised family at 128 Kent Street. Mr. & Mrs. were active in the Third Church (Universalist). Daughter Hattie was Sunday school teacher. Florence I. Miller appears at the address, class of 1903 at Pratt Institute. Maybe it’s Hattie, maybe some other relation.
  • Mrs. Charles A Miller’s obit appears in July 2, 1901 Brooklyn Eagle (p.2). Her name was Justice Liberty Miller – no joke. She died at 43.
  • Oct 26, 1913 Brooklyn Daily Eagle (page 2) reports on marriage of Charles Clifford Miller. He married Hazel Walrath of Fort Plain, NY in Universalist Church ceremony in her home town. He was described as head of Eclipse Box & Lumber Company (this located 425 Greenpoint), member of Northport Yacht Club (his yacht the 30-foot Dutchess), and motorist.
  • The couple planned to make their home at 13 Greenway Terrace, Forest Hills (Queens)
  • Subdued affair due to recent death of his father Charles Miller “prominent manufacturer of Brooklyn and a widely known Universalist.”
  • Advertisement appeared in New York Lumber Trade Journal of May 1, 1921
    “FOR SALE or LEASE Planing Mill & Lumber Yard
    Tel. 1803 Greenpoint Charles C. Miller
    425 Greenpoint Ave. Brooklyn NY
  • I also found description of Charles C. Miller where the author states that he Miller had recently joined Eclipse Box after association with Eclipse Oil Works.
  • Charles A Miller (presumably his father) appears in 1911 Directory of Directors in City of New York: Miller, Charles A. with Standard Oil Co., 425 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn
  • Charles Clifford Miller died in Fall of 1945 at home in Forest Hills.
  • Miller’s a common name; makes searches tough. Eclipse Box & Lumber a definite, and Charles Clifford Miller’s association established in the wedding report in the Eagle, and by industry items in some trade journals from 1904 onwards. As regards “varnish” connection, Miller was flexible with his operation. A 1904 report indicated that his business was providing wood shavings to the gaslight industry in the neighborhood. The leftovers were used to make boxes, hence Eclipse Box & Lumber. Boxes were varnished, why not make your own? Same for Glue, etc.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Connections with the Universalist sect track- in 1913, as the 425 Greenpoint Avenue address was given in a Universalist journal for a “Recording Secretary” named Ida Ritter East at the address. My bet would be that old man Miller was listing his office address, and that Ida was his actual secretary- but that’s idle supposition.

Connick’s postulations are also confirmed by this link which offers the address of Eclipse Box and Lumber at the selfsame 425 Greenpoint.

Eclipse seemed to have been sharing the space with other companies as early as 1917, if one believes the testimony of one Charles M. Bopp. Manhattan Briar Pipe Co. was on site as late as 1919, according to this scanned newspaper.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

A fairly reliable source, in 1912′s THE EASTERN DISTRICT of BROOKLYN, Eugene Armbruster listed:

“Eclipse Oil Works, Newtown Creek. The Eclipse Box & Lumber Company, Greenpoint Avenue. American Varnish Company, Greenpoint Avenue” as having occupied this part of the Newtown Creek waterfront.

Additionally, the Universalist creed of Charles A. Miller seems to be confirmed in this outtake from a Brooklyn Citizens Almanac of 1894:

Third Universalist of Reconciliation— North Henry st., near Nassau av.; org. 1857; Pastors. Alice Kinney Wright and Alfred Ellsworth Wright, 206 North Henry St.; Chas. A. Miller, Sec, 128 Kent St.; membership, 33; sittings. 300; S.S. Supt, C. H. Palmateer, 159 Dupoht St ; S.S. membership, 146; value of property, 88,000; Trustees: C. H. Palmateer, C. A. Miller, A. P. Howard, J. W. Moore, Chas. E. Lund and Jas. English.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Connick, it seems, is a force to be reckoned with. Thank you, T.J.

Personally speaking, I’m still not satisfied, and feel as if the Miller Building has defeated me. How, exactly, does an obviously significant structure such as this escape the historical record so successfully? Newtown Creek is in many ways a black hole as far as the aforementioned record goes, but this is frankly ridiculous… Grrr.

My hope would be that one of you, the knowledgeable lords and ladies of Newtown, will read this post and have some mercy upon a humble narrator- sharing some anecdote or family history that will put a face of some kind on this place. I can always be reached at this address.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Thanks, again, to T.J. Connick. At least have an idea who “Miller” was, and some of the texture of what happened in and around this mysterious structure which rises high above the Newtown Creek.

As far as the latter day history of the building, I think the picture says it all.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 15, 2011 at 12:15 am

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