Former Empire State Dairy Company

empire dairy smokestack renovation phase

Update May 2024:  The Highland at 2480 Atlantic Avenue, the site of the landmarked Empire State Dairy Company complex in East New York is now available for leasing. The site has undergone a massive redevelopment. Check it out sometime. The exterior scaffolding and netting are now down.

The Architecture

The property in question encompasses 0.72 acres, bordered by Schenck Avenue to the west, residential properties to the south, Barbey Street to the east, and Atlantic Avenue to the north. This site boasts a rich history of diverse commercial and industrial uses. Dating back to the 1890s, it served as a dairy bottling facility before accommodating companies such as the Royal Plastics Corporation and/or Allied Tile Co. After the cessation of dairy operations, businesses that utilized petroleum products, solvents, and hydraulic fluids occupied the site, leading to subsurface contamination over time. The dairy complex has remained vacant since around 2020, and after the owner of Royal Plastics Company passed away in June 2012, the property's future became uncertain. The current redevelopment plan intends to transform the site into affordable housing.

The Empire State Diary is a composite of six structures organized into two roughly symmetrical units, which once housed East New York's Brooklyn milk and bottling distribution plant. The oldest building, located at the intersection of Schenck and Atlantic Avenue, was constructed in 1906-07 by Theobald Engelhardt in the Renaissance/Romanesque Revival style, featuring unique terra-cotta details such as a decorative bay along Schenck Avenue and a series of tympani adorning the second-floor windows.

The second collection of structures, the annex, emerged between 1914 and 1915 under the design of Otto Strack. Although constructed as four separate entities, their Atlantic Avenue facades present a unified, almost symmetrical composition imbued with the Abstracted Classicist style, accentuated by strong Secessionist details, particularly evident in the central building. The most eye-catching feature of this building is its two polychromatic ceramic tile mosaics, illustrating bucolic scenes.

Otto Strack, a Northern German architect, is not commonly known among New York's architectural enthusiasts. Following his studies in architecture and engineering across Hamburg, Berlin, and Vienna, he relocated to the U.S. in 1881, setting up his architectural practice in Chicago. He crafted designs for breweries and saloons nationwide for Pabst Brewing Company, leaving his mark with now-lost Pabst establishments in locales such as Coney Island, Harlem, Times Square, and Columbus Circle.

The Dairy Plant situated at the northeast corner of the lot showcases developed facades on Atlantic Avenue and Barbey Street. The Atlantic Avenue facade integrates four structures into an almost symmetrical design. The central section stands tall, framed by two simpler, lower sections. The easternmost section comprises two structures, featuring punched window openings with brick lintels at upper floors and a large ground-floor freight entryway. The central section is adorned with monumental steel windows, piers with tile mosaics, and a brick parapet, which initially held signage between corbeled brick towers. The western section consists of a fourth building, six bays wide, with fenestration similar to the eastern section and a slightly projecting western bay.

Milk Production and Processing in New York City

Cow’s milk, a common staple in the American diet today, wasn't always so. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that its transformation from novelty to necessity began, catalyzed by the advent of the industrial city, the progression of transport and milk processing technologies, and a surge of progressive civic-minded crusaders based primarily in New York City. Rewind to New York City's nascent years as a Dutch colony, and you'd find milk cows grazing amidst its cobblestone streets. Fast forward to the early 1800s, and you'd see milk vendors with their buckets of fresh dairy, freshly procured from the outlying farmlands, peddling door-to-door.

The 1820s and 1830s witnessed the emergence of unsightly "swill dairies" in the confines of local distilleries. Here, cows were kept in squalid, congested spaces, subsisting on the leftover grain mash from the distilling process. The milk they produced, tainted and thin with a blueish hue, was commonly adulterated with a variety of additives, such as chalk, starch, and plaster, to simulate its natural appearance. In 1842, a paradigm shift occurred. The Erie Railroad facilitated regular milk shipments from rural dairy farms, utilizing special ice-cooled cars to transport fresh milk from Goshen, New York, to its terminal in New Jersey. From there, it was ferried to Manhattan. By 1850, millions of gallons of milk were being dispatched to the city via rail annually.

Milk consumption began to soar, particularly among children, as the societal trend moved away from breastfeeding. Working-class mothers often found their jobs keeping them away from their children, while the upper-middle class mimicked the wealthy, resorting to milk in the absence of affordable wet nurses. By the 1880s, the reach of New York City's "milk shed" had expanded impressively, extending hundreds of miles and encompassing dairy farms from states like New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Pennsylvania, to the rural parts of New York State itself. Yet, the reliability of this milk supply remained uncertain. Disease-laden cows transmitted typhoid and tuberculosis, and contamination was commonplace during milk handling, transport, and sale.

Recognizing this public health crisis, reformers and investigative journalists initiated a movement in the 1830s demanding government regulation to improve the city’s milk supply. Their concerted efforts bore fruit in the later decades, with New York banning swill dairies and milk adulteration in the 1860s and 1870s. By 1896, milk vendors were required to have permits, marking the genesis of an effective system of controlling and safeguarding the city’s milk supply. Further improvements followed in the 20th century. Mandatory inspections of dairy farms and milk retailers commenced in 1906, and technological innovations - notably, the introduction of the milk bottle in the 1880s and the adoption of pasteurization in the early 1890s - were critical in enhancing milk safety.

In 1893, Nathan Straus, the co-owner of the Macy’s and Abraham & Straus department stores, pioneered the opening of charitable milk dispensaries. Here, impoverished families could purchase pasteurized bottled milk at a nominal price. This innovative move led to a significant decline in the children's death rate and was emulated in other cities. By 1914 pasteurization became obligatory for all milk sold in New York City. Not only did this improve the milk's safety, but it also spurred the mechanization of milk processing in large, high-volume plants. Historian E. Melanie DuPuis succinctly captures the paradigm shift: "The freshness and purity of milk became the product of an industrial system."

One milk processor in New York even provided viewing balconies in its plant, inviting consumers to witness the efficient, hygienic nature of its bottling process. By the 1920s, milk supplied by the city’s largest dairy companies was “uniformly pure, fresh, and of good keeping quality,” earning New York City the accolade of having "the best milk supply of any large city in the world." As the winds of World War II swept across the globe, they brought about seismic changes to industries far and wide. The milk industry of New York City was not spared. The effects of the war echoed down the decades, restructuring the landscape of dairy processing and distribution in the city.

In 1933, the city was awash with pasteurization plants — twelve in Manhattan, two in the Bronx, and a staggering fifteen in Brooklyn. Two of the most distinguished in Brooklyn, still standing as architectural sentinels today, are the Sheffield Bottling Plant on Fulton Street in Bedford Stuyvesant, and the Borden Plant on Atlantic Avenue in East New York. Yet, the march of progress was relentless. The trusty railroads that once transported fresh milk from rural pastures to the city's bustling streets were slowly replaced by modern, more efficient tanker trucks. The cherished glass milk bottles, once a common sight on doorsteps at dawn, were cast aside in favor of disposable paper cartons. Supermarkets rose to prominence, turning into the primary retail channels for dairy products.

As the cityscape transformed and the population swelled, home deliveries of milk gradually waned. By the time the 1950s rolled around, many of the city's dairies had moved to the outskirts, seeking more space and less congestion. The final curtain fell on the era of city-based pasteurization plants in October 2016, with the closure of Elmhurst Dairy in Jamaica, Queens. What was once a city teeming with at least 29 pasteurization plants was left with none.

At its height, Elmhurst Dairy was a veritable titan in the milk industry, churning out more than 5.6 million quarts of milk each week. As the primary supplier to 1,400 public schools across New York City and the exclusive provider for 8,300 independent small grocery stores, its impact was substantial and far-reaching. From 2003 to 2011, Elmhurst had a lucrative contract with Bartlett Dairy, packaging milk for the latter's supply to Starbucks stores all over the city. This partnership came to an abrupt end when Starbucks and Bartlett Dairy opted for a non-union milk processor outside the city, operated by Dean Foods, replacing Elmhurst Dairy in the process.

The deregulation of milk sales in New York State in 1987 was another milestone in the industry's history. It came about after a federal court deemed a “destructive competition” provision in state law invalid, which had been exploited by officials to prevent a New Jersey dairy from selling milk throughout the city. This led to a revision of the law by the State Legislature, triggering a fierce price war in the city's milk market.

Although the Empire State Dairy buildings were the last vestiges of this once-flourishing industry, they serve as poignant reminders of New York City's critical role in revolutionizing milk safety and quality and making fresh cow’s milk a major part of the American diet. Yet, changes in the milk industry, driven by evolving consumer buying habits, and dietary shifts away from dairy due to health concerns, have rendered the Empire State Dairy's architectural majesty a relic of a bygone era.

The Empire State Dairy Company Operations

In the bustling heart of Brooklyn, two corporations came to life under the aegis of the Empire State moniker - The Empire State Condensed Milk Company and the Empire State Dairy Company. Sprouting roots deep into the fertile fields of Brooklyn's entrepreneurial ecosystem, both organizations shared a common purpose: to buy and sell milk and an assortment of other dairy and farm products, such as cheese, butter, and cream. The grand architectural designs of the companies involved acquiring land and erecting buildings to accommodate their operations. The Milk Company's capital stood at a modest $15,000, the brainchild of three visionaries: John P. Wierck, Increase C. Jordan, and Daniel Bailey. Concurrently, the Dairy Company was incorporated with a more robust capital of $95,000, with three additional associates — Claus H. Wohlers, John Henry Oest, and Charles Niedner — joining the same board of directors.

Born in 1869 under the ambitious gaze of Mr. John P. Wierk, the Empire State Dairy Company, for a time, called 502 Broadway in Brooklyn its headquarters. In 1905, the Dairy Company embarked on a monumental journey of expansion, purchasing a sizable lot on the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Schenck Avenues in East New York, Brooklyn, from John and Anna Wierk. The lot was home to several brick structures of varying heights. In 1906, the company's ambitious vision led them to file plans for four new buildings, including a wagon shed, a three-story dairy plant, an office, a family dwelling, and a T-shaped stable, sketching a new horizon for the empire.

From humble beginnings with just four delivery wagons in Greenpoint, the Empire State Dairy Company evolved into a milk distribution behemoth, the arteries of its operation branching out across Brooklyn. With over two hundred retail wagons and branch offices dotted across South Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Long Island City, Flushing, and Jamaica, the company's reach was expansive. But perhaps its crowning achievement was the relocation of its headquarters in 1916 to 2840 Atlantic Avenue — a sprawling complex housing the company's offices, local branch offices, one of its thirteen retail stores, stables, and a state-of-the-art pasteurizing and refrigeration plant.

This monumental plant boasted a unique architectural feature — an open glass front that was the first of its kind in Brooklyn. It offered a glimpse into the pasteurizing and bottling process, as white-clad workers skillfully filled up to seventy-five thousand bottles of milk a day, providing an arresting spectacle to curious passersby and train passengers.

Transparency was at the core of the company's operations. They encouraged public inspection, assuring that the intricate machinery served the essential, modern methods of protecting the milk supply. The comprehensive safety measures ensured the milk remained untainted from storage to bottling. In fact, they were the only company in Brooklyn to use paper hoods over bottle mouths, addressing the crucial issue of contamination from dust, water, and human contact.

The Empire State Dairy complex was more than a building — it was a testament to the company's commitment to safety and efficiency. With its engine room generating power for all machinery, immense pressure bottle washers, various refrigerating rooms, and laboratories for continual supervision, the company stood as a beacon of dairy production, setting a high standard for others in the industry to emulate.

In 1923, the Empire State Dairy Company made a significant advancement in its pursuit of sanitation and efficiency. They installed the largest milk bottle washing machine in the United States, a $25,000 behemoth with the capacity to clean 2,688 bottles at once. This sterilization titan, with a 28-minute cycle, rendered 26 manual laborers obsolete. The process was intricate and precise, the dirty bottles making a languid procession through a series of heated alkaline solutions of increasing strength, thoroughly rinsed and brushed both inside and out. This mechanized march culminated in a cooling sterilizing compartment and inspection table lit from beneath with high-power electric lights, allowing detailed, hands-free scrutiny of each bottle.

The bottles, once sterilized and cooled, were then filled with milk and sealed with a blue label boasting the company's name and a facsimile of the State of New York's coat of arms, protecting the milk within from external contamination. They offered different grades of milk at varying prices, ranging from 9 to 14 cents, categorized under the Department of Health Milk regulations into Grades A, B, and C.

Cleanliness was not a goal but a philosophy for the company, a relentless pursuit that extended beyond its products. A dedicated team was responsible for ensuring the immaculate state of the plant's equipment, floors, and walls, preparing them for each day's operations. Furthermore, they maintained an in-house medical department to assess their workers, ensuring the safety of the dairy products from potential disease transmission.

The Empire State Dairy Company ensured its commitment to producing and handling milk safely was not just internal but public knowledge, frequently communicating its high-quality standards through various newspapers. By 1916, the company's reach was extensive, boasting six distribution stations across Brooklyn and Queens and employing over a thousand individuals. They claimed to distribute millions of quarts of milk annually through their extensive network of facilities scattered across Williamsburg, Gowanus, Flushing, Jamaica, and Long Island City.

However, in 1924, the company's story took an unexpected turn. Empire State Dairy Company, which had grown to become the third largest in the metropolitan area and claimed to be the largest milk company in Brooklyn a year prior, was acquired by the Borden Company in a contentious transaction that included the East New York plant. This acquisition followed a legal tussle instigated by Borden against the company's initial sale to the Dairymen’s League Co-operative Association (DLCA), resulting in Borden inheriting Empire's New York City operations. Thus ended a chapter in the illustrious history of the Empire State Dairy Company, a testament to entrepreneurial ambition and the pursuit of quality in the heart of Brooklyn.

In a significant legal development in February 1924, Justice William F. Hagarty of the Kings County Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction preventing the Empire State Dairy Company from selling or disposing of its business for five years, effective from April 12, 1922. The order also prohibited the Dairymen's League Co-operative Association, Inc., the then-prospective buyer, from acquiring the dairy company during this period. This injunction came at the behest of F.W. Fiske & Company, who alleged they held exclusive rights to sell the dairy company's condensed and evaporated milk products under a five-year contract signed on April 12, 1922.

When Fiske & Company's president, Howard G. Boardman, learned about the impending sale to the Dairymen's League, he discovered the league had no intention of honoring the contract, potentially resulting in Fiske & Company's dissolution. This revelation led to the emergency injunction halting the imminent transfer of the dairy company's business to the Dairymen's League. This issue was slated to be addressed in a subsequent hearing. The proposed sale encompassed six city plants in Kings and Queens counties and fifteen country plants. Following Borden's acquisition of Empire State Dairy Company, the "big three" dairy companies in New York State, according to the Dairymen's League, were Borden's Condensed Milk Co., Sheffield Farms, and U.S. Dairy Company.

The logistical challenges faced by the Empire Dairy Company in the 1910s were considerable. Milk arrived via railroad and was transported to the main bottling plant for pasteurization and subsequent distribution to customers and branch stores. The transition from horse-drawn wagons to gasoline-powered vehicles was met with resistance from delivery men who found the new process laborious. Despite these initial complaints, the use of vehicles proved efficient for delivering large orders to hotels and other major institutions across the city.

Fast-forward to 1982, the Atlantic Avenue plant, once an integral part of the Empire State Dairy Company, was sold by Borden to the Royal Plastic Corporation. The building was also occupied by the Allied Tile Manufacturing Company for a period. LSC Development, LLC acquired the site in 2016. According to the owner's testimony, the site had significant structural issues and serious hazardous waste problems. Subsequently, they applied to the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program, an initiative that provides financial incentives for the remediation of contaminated former industrial and commercial sites. The owner suggested that addressing these environmental hazards could involve substantial excavation, soil removal, and associated demolition.

The Inception of Borden Dairy and the Impact of Gail Borden's Innovations

Once upon a time, a towering industrial edifice stood tall on Liberty Avenue, straddling the gap between New Jersey and Vermont. Its name has been etched in the annals of New York history, first as Empire State Dairy, and later as Borden’s Dairy Factory. A significant local landmark, its establishment on the site of the old St. John's dates back to the transformative period of the 1920s. Borden Dairy took root here after acquiring the Empire State Dairy and constructed a state-of-the-art facility. Until the 1950s, the plant hummed with life, churning out milk and ice cream, before eventually ceasing operations. The exact time of its closure remains shrouded in mystery, but the corroded metal sign bearing the nostalgic slogan "It's Borden’s, it's got to be good," is a stark reminder of its industrial past.

The Borden story harks back to 1856 when Gail Borden founded the company, then known as the New York Condensed Milk Company. Borden, an innovator at heart, had established a milk depot on Canal Street in Manhattan and a processing plant in Wollcottsville, Connecticut. His claim to fame was a patented vacuum evaporation method, revolutionizing condensed milk production. Although initially unsuccessful, Borden struck gold when he teamed up with Jeremiah Milbank, a local grocer. Together they formed the New York Condensed Milk Company, promising sanitary and pure milk at a time when contamination was rampant.

Their business expanded, reaching across Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Civil War provided the opportunity for growth on a larger scale as soldiers required a constant supply of canned milk. Returning veterans sang praises of the product, leading to a surge in demand beyond the confines of New York City.

In 1913, Borden announced a new four-story pasteurizing plant at 55 Steinway Ave, designed by architect G. Howard Chamberlain of Yonkers. This structure, like its Manhattan office and Brooklyn plant, was heated by coal burners and would come to employ hundreds from the area. It was here in 1917 that a massive strike erupted when workers demanded a raise, from 30 to 35 cents a day.

Borden is said to have ventured into the dairy industry after witnessing the devastating impact of contaminated milk on children. As a fervent inventor and the brains behind the "meat biscuit," Borden was driven to find a way to preserve milk safely. He called his condensed milk "Eagle Brand" and expanded his enterprise to include fluid milk, cream, butter, and ice cream. Dairy products were brought in by "milk train" from New Jersey and upstate New York farms, aided by Borden's ingenious refrigerated milk train car. From Manhattanville, the Bronx, Long Island, and New Jersey, the fresh milk was relayed to one of the city's plants.

Borden's company pioneered the industrial-scale production of milk bottles and made strides during the Civil War, supplying the Union armies with condensed milk. The company further bolstered the American forces during World War I and II with dairy products and synthetic adhesives. In 1885, Borden broke new ground with milk bottles, and in 1892, with evaporated milk.

The Borden Company introduced Elsie, a cartoon Jersey cow, as their mascot in 1938. In an effort to soften the growing resentment against the dairy industry's monopoly, Elsie's charm took her on a country-wide tour and even a stint in Hollywood. Elsie's "husband," Elmer, would become the face of Elmer's Glue-All, introduced in 1932.

The Borden Company expanded into a food department, Borden Foods, and a chemical company, Borden Chemicals, both making acquisitions to broaden their product range. In response to the changing dynamics of the milk sector, Borden's expanded its horizons, plunging into the world of plastics and chemicals during the 1950s and delving into rubber in the subsequent decade. By 1969, the epicenter of their operations shifted from the bustling streets of New York City to Columbus, Ohio, and the ensuing decade saw a surge in their food division.

However, by the mid-'90s, Borden’s had transitioned into the hands of the financial powerhouse, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts, and Company, with a transaction valued at a whopping $2 billion. This change in stewardship spelled the closure of Borden’s operational units in the heart of New York City. Notably, the East New York plant was already off its hands since 1982. In the 1950s and ’60s, Borden embarked on an acquisition spree, buying recognizable brands like Wylers, Drakes Cakes, Wise snack foods, Kava coffee, and Cracker Jack. The company continued its expansive acquisitions, buying 23 companies for $442.6 million in 1987 alone.

The Historical Majolica Tile Panels 

a milkmaid with two cows on a pasture

a lederhosen-clad milkman with a cow

In 2017, a David and Goliath battle unfolded on Brooklyn's streets as local preservationists locked horns with towering developers. Intent on razors-to-riches demolition, the developers justified their plans with the hefty price tag attached to site remediation and renovation. The preservationists' weapons? Passion, perseverance, and the aid of the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission. The prize? The Empire State Dairy building complex, a gem of bygone craftsmanship.

Perched atop the tallest edifice, two vivid, polychromatic terra-cotta mosaics serve as silent sentinels. Crafted over a century ago, these Arts and Crafts majolica tile panels are the work of the American Encaustic Tiling Company of Zanesville, Ohio. Born in 1875 as Fischer and Lansing, this tile titan operated until the mid-20th century, crafting dust-pressed encaustic floor tiles and standard utilitarian wall tiles, alongside a cornucopia of decorative art tiles. By the early 20th century, this behemoth was one of the world's leading tile manufacturers. Their New York City headquarters, located at 16 East 41 Street, once proudly displayed the company’s tiles on its façade, now sadly altered.

The exquisite murals capture a serene, Germanic/Alpine countryside dairy scene, transporting onlookers from the grit of urban Atlantic Avenue to a pastoral idyll. A dirndl-skirted milkmaid and a lederhosen-clad milkman, with bovine companions in tow, inhabit a lush landscape of crystal waters, verdant meadows, lofty pines, and soaring mountains. It's a romantic homage to the dairy industry's agrarian roots, captured in colorful ceramic tile panels that are as rare as they are beautiful.

The American Encaustic Tiling Company's creative footprints can still be found today, in decorative tiles lining the Holland Tunnel, gracing the Loew's Valencia in Jamaica, Queens, and adorning the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Woodhaven, Queens. The firm was renowned for its expertise in crafting encaustic tiles, distinguished by designs that were not merely superficial glazes but intricate inlays of multicolored clay. Though these tiles initially gained prominence in the 13th century, they experienced a revival in the Victorian period and continued to adorn spaces until the mid-1900s.

The murals were crafted with a staggering 68 majolica tiles, each 8", 9”, or 12”, and cast in high relief. The panels stretch 5 tiles across and 13 down, with an additional 3-tile row at the bottom. Located near the summit of the building, separated by three large window bays, the panels offer a feast of artistic prowess to any upward glance. These tiles were birthed via a painstaking 'wet clay' process, where wet clay was pressure-molded, hand-sculpted into high relief, and then glazed and fired, or bisque-fired in a kiln, a process akin to that used by esteemed contemporaries such as Grueby Pottery and Rookwood Pottery.

The artistic hand that guided these creations possibly belonged to Leon Victor Solon (1872-1957), who served as the Art Director of the American Encaustic Tiling Company from 1912 to 1928. A native of England and the son of a French artist who sought refuge in England during the Franco-Prussian War, Solon's aesthetic may well echo in these vibrant, historic panels, bequeathing the city with an enduring legacy of artistry and craftsmanship.

Royal Plastics Corporation -- Allied Manufacturing Corporation old signage

The Future

In the shadow of Brooklyn's skyscrapers, the enduring edifice of the Empire State Dairy Building is about to enter a new chapter. This grand dame of New York's industrial age, standing vigil at the intersection of Atlantic Ave, Barbey Street, and Schenck Avenue, is poised for an ambitious transformation.

Soon, where century-old masonry has endured, a modern 14-story tower will rise, housing 320 affordable apartments. The historic structure is not bowing out, however. Instead, it's set to be tastefully refurbished, its red brick frontage harkening back to an earlier era while facing onto bustling Atlantic Ave. Behind this facade, the new residential leviathan will ascend from the non-designated, un-zoned territory of 266 Barbey Street & 181-185 Schenck Avenue.

A testament to the past, the building's long-standing chimney will persist, a stalwart beacon amid rapid evolution. Within these walls, the meticulous craftsmanship of Durukan Design will breathe new life into the aged infrastructure, marrying past and present in a harmonious union. The refurbishment extends far beyond a mere facelift - the project involves restoring the once-neglected facade, selectively demolishing two adjacent structures, and crafting a residential monolith atop the historic framework.

A stroll down Atlantic Avenue will reveal a masterfully restored façade, punctuated by modern windows reflecting the city's vibrant pulse. The iconic "Empire State Dairy Co." sign will be elegantly pin-mounted, a subtle nod to the site's rich past. Reestablished piers and pediments at the roofline will harmonize with new rooftop mechanical systems, ensuring the structure's continued relevance in the 21st century.

Spanning a vast 370,000 square feet, this redevelopment project is more than a residential endeavor. It's a community beacon, poised to welcome a charter school and a grocery store within its sprawling footprint. This venture isn't the first collaboration between Moinian and Bushburg. The dynamic duo recently partnered on PLG, a 467-unit luxury development that punctuates Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood with its formidable 26-story stature. This second joint venture promises to replicate the magic, delivering a delicate balance of preservation and progress, as the echoes of the past meet the promise of tomorrow.

Address: 2840 Atlantic Avenue (2840-2844 Atlantic Ave, 181-185 Schenck Ave) Brooklyn, NY


1. "Empire State Dairy Tile Panels", Historic U.S. Tile Installations, "N" States

2. Dattner Architects, DattenerArchitects

3. Hubert, Craig, "LPC Tells Developers Behind East New York’s Empire State Dairy to Come Back and Try Again",  April 17, 2019, Brownstoner

4. Morris, Sebastian, "Dattner Architects Reveals Plans For Historic Empire State Dairy Building In East New York, Brooklyn", April 16, 2019, New York Yimby

5. Warerkar, Tanay, "East New York's Empire State Dairy complex declared a NYC landmark", December 5, 2017, Curbed NY

6. Presa, D. G. (2017). Empire State Dairy Company Buildings 2840 Atlantic Avenue (aka 2840-2844 Atlantic Avenue; 81-185 Schenck Avenue), Brooklyn: Built: 1906-07; 1914-15; Architect: Theobold Engelhardt; Otto Strack. United States: Landmarks Preservation Commission.

7. Long Island Medical Journal. (1921). United States: Associated Physicians of Long Island.

8. Horseless Age. (1912). United States: Horseless age Company, pp. 319-320.

9. The Milk Reporter. (1923). United States: Deckertown and Sussex, N.J, pp. 3.

10. Morris, Sebastian, "Developers Close On $105M Loan To Complete 2840 Atlantic Avenue In East New York, Brooklyn", May 26, 2022, New York Yimby

11. Hubert, Craig, "Landmarks OKs New Building Set to Rise Behind Historic Empire State Dairy in East New York", August 14, 2019, Brownstoner

12. Spellen, Suzanne, "Building of the Day: 2840 Atlantic Avenue", July 9, 2012, Brownstoner

13. The East New York Project: Historical Preservation, Tapeshare

14. Frank, Gabriel, "Moinian Group JV Begins Brooklyn Adaptive Reuse", November 17, 2022, Multi-Housing News

15. Empire State Dairy Buildings, Historic District Council

16. Denno, Jesse, "Potential Developers Say Designation Would Likely Halt Adaptive Reuse of Former Dairy", City Land

17. The East New York Project: Atlantic Avenue, Tapeshare

18. Empire State Dairy Tile Panels, Historic U.S. Tile Installations

19. Center for Brooklyn History, "When Brooklyn Had A Dairy", Urban Archive

20. Lovinger, Joe, "After two decades on Brooklyn’s frontier, Bushburg prepares to hit the gas", July 14, 2022, The Real Deal

21. fadingad, "Borden’s Dairy Facility – Ralph Avenue – Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn", Fading Ad Blog

22. Untapped New York, "Empire State Dairy in East New York Designated A NYC Landmark", December 7, 2012, UntappedCities

23. Marzlock, Ron, "Back when western Queens had the Borden’s milk plant", March 15, 2018, Queens Chronicle

24. Barron, James, "A Queens Dairy Plant Closes, but the Cows Had Long Since Gone Home", August 6, 2016, NYTimes

25. "TRIANGULAR FIGHT OVER MILK PLANTS; Empire State Dairy Property Sold as Court Issues an Injunction.", February 1, 1924, NYTimes

26. Beal, Thomas D., “Dairying,” in The Encyclopedia of New York City Second Edition, 341-42;

27. DuPuis, E. Melanie, Nature’s Perfect Food: How Milk Became America’s Drink (New York: New York University Press, 2002)

28. R.J. O’Hare, “Development of Milk Transportation,” American Creamery and Poultry Produce Review (June 25, 1930), 376-79

29. Doherty, Henry, “The Story of a Milk Train,” American Milk Review (August 1947), 18-20.

30. Kosman, Josh, “Dairy Wants to Milk City,”, December 21, 2012, NY Post

31. Empire State Dairy Company Buildings - Designation Report, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

32. "New York City Elected Officials and Union Leaders Rally to Save Over 700 Local Dairy Jobs Threatened by Starbucks' Action." PR Newswire, 15 June 2011. Gale OneFile: News, Accessed 29 June 2023.

33. "POSTINGS: Going, Going . . .; A Terra Cotta Splash on 41st." New York Times, 11 July 1993. Gale OneFile: News, Accessed 29 June 2023.

34. CROWLEY HUGHES, CAROLYN. "The Man Who Invented Elsie, the Borden Cow." Smithsonian, vol. 30, no. 6, Sept. 1999, p. 32. Gale OneFile: Popular Magazines, Accessed 30 June 2023.

35. "Borden Dairy becomes second major milk producer to file for bankruptcy in two months.", 6 Jan. 2020, p. NA. Gale OneFile: News, Accessed 30 June 2023.

36. "Borden Inc., the world's largest dairy company, said Tuesday..." UPI Archive: Financial, 10 Nov. 1987. Gale OneFile: News, Accessed 30 June 2023.

37. "Empire State Dairy Company Reduces Price of Milk." The Standard Union, 5 May 1923, p.3.,

38. Sale of Big Milk Concern Held Up. (1924, February 1). The Standard Union, p. 18.

39. Spellen, S. Walkabout: The Great Milk Wars, Part 3. (2011, Nov 15). Brownstoner

40. New Home of the Empire State Dairy. (1916, October 26). The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, p. 67.

41. No Title (1910, August 1). Times Union, p. 2.

42. No Title. (1894, March 5). The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, p. 3.

43. Empire State Dairy. (1916, October 29). The Brooklyn Citizen, p. 17.

44. Dairy Data. (1923, November 3). Brooklyn Life, p. 3.

45. (1912, May 20). The Brooklyn Citizen. p. 2.

46. First Dairy in Brooklyn to Inaugurate a Medical Department. (1923, October 18). The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, p. 32.

47. New Companies. (1895, December 19). The Standard Union, p. 4.

48. Empire State Dairy Acme of Sanitation. (1922, July 15). The Standard Union, p. 3.

49. Empire Dairy Co. Installs New Sterilizing Machine. (1923, September 29). The Standard Union, p. 3.


Popular posts from this blog

The Forgotten Anderson-Jerome Subway Platform

Rockaway Metal Products Corporation

Albany Central Warehouse Corporation aka The Cube

Diner Dreams and Declines: The Kullman Dining Car Company