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Inside Empire Stores, DUMBO’s Massive Waterfront Complex

These stencils were used to spray labels on bags of coffee, the product that used to fill the Empire Stores Warehouses after they were first built in 1869.<br/>


One of these shutter doors is original- guess which one! The others are copies to replace doors that were too rusted to reuse.<br/>


The Empire Stores are actually seven vertical warehouses separated by 2' thick stone walls. We took a tour of Warehouse 3, in the middle of larger building. Warehouses 1-3 are one story taller than the other four. As part of construction, openings will be constructed to connect the warehouses on each floor.<br/>



A view towards the Water Street side of the building.<br/>


As part of the renovation, 80' long piles have to be sunk into the ground. Note the little iron spikes on the right hand side: each of those will eventually be replaced by a pile drilled deep into the glacial rock that underlies the Brooklyn shore.<br/>


Most of the interior equipment has been removed, but there are still some coffee bean funnels in the building. Imagine a bag of coffee being filled from above!<br/>



Lots of coffee beans still litter the floors.<br/>


This hole opens into the funnel shown before on the lower floor.<br/>


Most of the graffiti on the exterior of the building has been cleaned- the roof used to host quite a variety of pieces. Some graffiti can still be seen on the Water Street side under the scaffolding.<br/>


A coffee bag shute for moving bags of coffee between floors.<br/>


This wheel still moved, and was part of a crane for lifting pallets of coffee.<br/>


These upper floors will be used for a variety of functions: offices, a beer garden, etc.<br/>



From the roof you can see a panoramic view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan waterfronts. The lower roof in the middle of this picture will be removed to create a large atrium running from Water Street to the park.<br/>


Raccoons have been known to hang out on the roof and leave paw prints, but we didn't see any today!<br/>


Looking towards the Manhattan Bridge you can see a big section of the park is being renovated, and in the far distance, the John Street site, where a condo and more park are going up soon.<br/>


The stores from Main Street- they are a full block long!<br/>


These tracks used to take coffee from the Empire Stores Warehouses to a roasting plant on Jay Street.<br/>