Who are the Key actors of this site?
Security guards, artists and small businesses are the core to standing and continuous purpose of this complex.
In what way does the site hold value, or significance, to its actors?
For the security guards and other workers within this building, it is just a job that makes them some money. To those who own small businesses within the many rooms within the infrastructure, this is a chance to start an entrepreneurship in a field they have dreamed of. They have the ability to rent out a location for a more affordable price than they could in a more populated area of Brooklyn or in Manhattan. Artists are also able to gain the chance to find an affordable location to work in solitude and store their art. They are able to also us their space for installations and so forth.
How does the site function? What has it been planned to ‘do’? How do people behave here?
The site currently functions as a location for several small businesses and private artists in the upper levels. The site as a whole exists purely as a building with historical significance. The heart of the site is open, breaking up the building into sections and making each unit its own location. The building was originally planned to be used as a military supply base during WWII. Now the location serves as a warehouse to numerous growing companies that have a variety of purposes. Those who exist within this space are either within their workplace or in the center of the complex taking a break. Those who are part of the companies are rarely seen while security guards and other workers are seen more frequently. People are quiet and reserved, hardly speaking. There is almost no one from the general public in this location.
How does it make you feel?
The location was slightly eerie but also gave a sense of wonder due to the incredible and interesting architecture within the center of the building. I was awestruck and interested in the previous functions of this building and how underutilized the building was as a whole. The feeling of curiosity took hold as I went through the floors and tried to figure out the reasoning behind the architecture. I was disappointed to see how to run down and that it was not being used to its fullest potential. The spaces that were being used such as the lobby felt awkward and not put together.
What does it look, smell, sound, taste like?
The infrastructure appeared very modern for the time of its building and the innermost part was one of the most interesting parts in term of appearance and function. There was also a port and several other buildings that were off limits to the public that were also connected to the central building. The air was musty and the scent was similar to old classic historical buildings. The sounds were minimal, not much talking occurring. There were a lot of loud machinery sounds that were consistent throughout the building. The elevators which are original and still modestly preserved shuttered loudly every time the doors opened and closed. Footsteps echoed quietly against the concrete walls within.
Are these experiences unique to you?
These experiences were interesting due to my military background and the lack of a public and inviting nature to the location. Hundreds of people pass through these doors every day, however, I came with absolutely no ties to the location which in theory was not allowed. With my partner alongside, we both were in the same location witnessing the same things but taking it in all differently. We reacted and took in sights and information very differently and overall experienced the location completely differently from those who worked and frequented the terminal.
Has the site always looked like this?
The building itself has overall remained the same for the most part, however, after the repurposing of the location, several rooms have changed. New businesses have occupied and changed rooms, as well as tracks being covered up and walkways, put in places. The harbor nestled to the terminal’s point hardly sees ships anymore. Some of the gates surrounding the perimeter are new and the large signs stating the name of the building are also new. The building is a lot more run down with broken windows and natural wear and tear on the walls.