Brooklyn paves the the way for all things hip, trendy, and edgy. Oftentimes, these new trends involve acts of repurposing, recycling, and reinventing. Check out four of Brooklyn’s most unique, repurposed buildings on a self-guided walking tour.
1) Sawdust Factory
Once the sawdust industry began to fade, the old factory in Brooklyn owned by the National Sawdust Co. was abandoned. A non-profit group of artists purchased the building and completely gutted the already-decrepit interior. They threw up a stunning mural on the exterior while keeping the original company name, National Sawdust Co, and the architects transformed the space into a twenty-first century concert venue for artists of all types.
2) Williamsburg Hotel Water tank
Atop the Williamsburg Hotel currently stands a wooden watering tank. However, like all overlooked items in Brooklyn, this tank is not exactly as it appears. The hotel, which is still under construction, plans to repurpose the tank into a rooftop bar with views of Manhattan—a modern equivalent of turning water into wine. Along with this water-tank bar, the hotel will feature a rooftop pool as well.
3) Spire Lofts
First constructed as an Italian Catholic church, the Armenian Catholics soon came in and purchased the building. The building then changed hands one last time when a group of developers purchased the building and converted the space into apartment units. Although once welcome to all of faith, now you will have to pay a steep $4,000 a month to gain access. This church-turned-apartment is a must-see on any Brooklyn walking tour.
4) Marine rail terminal
Although this terminal does not currently stand, Brooklyn repurposed the space to create one of the borough’s greatest attractions—Smorgasburg. The old rail terminal used the proximity to the water for a port, but this outdoor food and flea market repurposed the location for the views of Manhattan. Every Saturday, over 100 vendors offer everything from ice cream, to burgers, to donuts, and everything in between. If you take a Brooklyn walking tour on a Saturday, you should definitely stop by for some treats!