Party Like a Longshoreman

Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Varick Shute
Varick Shute
Advertisement
Advertisement
Varick Shute
NYC EDC

The Brooklyn Army Terminal is one of the biggest buildings in the city, spanning some 2.2 million square feet—almost as much space as 1 World Trade Center or the Empire State Building. And yet almost no one knows about this hulking monolith because it is tucked in by the bay in Sunset Park, part of the area’s once-thriving industrial waterfront. The Bloomberg administration has done much to try and revive the warehouses here—just this morning The Journal reported on three new businesses bringing in 60 jobs. But for those looking to explore this forgotten gem without having to don coveralls and gloves, grab instead your tuxe and head to this weekend’s Beaux Arts Ball.

Hosted each year by the Architectural League, one of the city’s oldest building appreciation and preservation groups, the ball is a major fundraiser that bounces from one unusual landmark to another each fall. Last year, it took place at the National Arts Club in Washington Heights, the year before that it was the American Can Factory in Gowanus—clearly, these guys have a thing for industrial architecture. Designed by Cass Gilbert, of Woolworth Building fame, the terminal was once of throbbing hive of activity, according to League-affiliated blog Urban Omnibus:

56,000 military and civilian personnel were employed at the BAT during WWII, and an additional three million troops and 37 million tons of supplies traveled through. The activity often spilled into the neighborhood’s streets and sidewalks. “My father used to say that, once workers began to go home in the evening, you couldn’t come near this area until 10pm,” [Carmine Giordano, the BAT Facilities Director for the past 23 years] recalled from his childhood. “It took hours for the cars and the people walking to pass through.”

Tickets are available online, and while the League warns of a sell0ut, something tells us there will be plenty of room.

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President