Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory

There is a Pop-up Pencil Museum Devoted to Eberhard Faber Pencils on Staten Island!

The Pencil Museum, via NYC Parks

Greenpoint’s beloved Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory is a landmark, coworking space, and home to us, your trusty Greenpointers staff. But, the Faber family itself called the north shore of Staten Island home. They lived on the land that is now Faber Pool and Park.

Right now, in that park, there is a pop-up “Pencil Museum” honoring the history of pencils, manufacturing, and the Faber family, in New York City.  Continue reading

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The Pencil Factory Was Landmarked 10 Years Ago This Month!

The Pencil Factory. Via Woodclinched.
The Pencil Factory. Via Woodclinched, a blog for people who love wooden pencils.

Today at The Pencil Factory at 47-61 Greenpoint Avenue, you can get an amazing haircut, or see an exciting new art exhibit, or even stop by our very own Greenpointers office, but between 1924 and 1956, that building lived up to its name and turned out pencils for the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company, one of the largest pencil manufacturers in the world. Faber had additional factories located in Germany, Canada, and Argentina, but Brooklyn was the heart of the enterprise. In fact, the Greenpoint Avenue plant was “one of Brooklyn’s most important factories, employing hundreds of workers, many of which were women.” Ace local historian Geoff Cobb included the Pencil Factory in his history of Greenpoint in 25 buildings, and 10 years ago this month, the City of New York recognized the importance of The Pencil Factory’s industrial and architectural history, and landmarked the building, establishing The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District. The district includes properties on Greenpoint Avenue, West and Kent Streets which were all originally part of the Pencil Factory complex.

The Eberhard Faber Pencil Company was a pencil industry Game Changer! The ingenuity of its products foreshadowed the creativity of businesses working out of the building today. For example, according to the site’s Historic District Designation Report, “Faber was responsible for many breakthroughs in the production of pencils and related items, including having been the first pencil manufacturer maker to merchandise pencils with color tips (known as Mongol pencils, they became the world’s most popular color pencil), the first to apply polishes in bright colors to the wood encasements, and the first to offer color pencils in sets.” That’s right. No Faber, no color pencils. We stand on the shoulders of giants, people!  Continue reading

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Ironic Ironing, Free Citi Bike, & Film Favorites — The Hook-Up 6/17

Meet your local domestic hero. Photo: Sarah Francoise
Meet your local domestic hero. Photo: Sarah Francoise
This is some next-level Marina Abramovic shit. A Greenpoint dad is bringing his love for ironing to Pete’s Candy Store next month, offering to iron everyone’s clothes for free every Tuesday night in July.
 
Could Bedford Avenue be on its way to becoming a safe space for inebriated pedestrians? One local politician is suggesting it be turned into a pedestrian plaza and a right-of-way for the proposed Brooklyn-Queens streetcar.
 

What do you do to fight toxic waste? Plant more flowers. The city is planting more than 300 rain gardens in Sunnyside, Maspeth and Ridgewood to help relieve the overtaxed sewer systems.

 
This weekend, you can avail yourself of free Citi Bike. Don’t let this opportunity coast away.
 
An award-winning short from the Brooklyn Film Fest is all about that magical-realist charm of Greenpoint. Check out the review.
 
Well, that was quick. One bumbling (or opportunist?) driver was already caught in the bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge.
 
One band got booted from Northside over the drummer’s rape-apologist letter penned in defense of Brock Turner. Here’s some more deflection toward drinking culture.
 
Here’s a first look at the newly converted 108-year-old Eberhard Pencil Factory buildings that had been sitting vacant at 74 Kent Street for so long.
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Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District

According to Brownstoner, the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District has been created and approved unanimously at today’s LPC Meeting. This is fantastic news!

If there is one thing I absolutely support it’s the preservation of the past. I’ve collected and worn vintage clothing since I was twelve, I’ve worked in the architectural field ever since I’ve had a ‘real adult job’ and even though there are a million issues and drama surround the Astral building, I have wanted to live in it since the first time I saw it. I love everything vintage, antique or just plain old.

So the creation of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District as a landmark makes me pleased as punch. Finally, a score for Greenpoint.

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Pencil Factory Landmarks Hearing

Received an email from a reader with this heads-up:

PUBLIC MEETING ITEM No. 4
LP-2264
Staff: D. Presa
Time: 12:10-1:30 PM

The Landmark Preservation Commission is holding one of its biennial blockbuster meetings on Tuesday. On the agenda [pdf] are votes or hearings for over a dozen significant buildings or districts.

Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District (Greenpoint, Brooklyn): Eberhard Faber is credited with bringing German lead-pencil-making techniques to the United States transforming his business into one of the largest employers in Brooklyn. A largely female work force of several hundred made huge numbers of low-cost pencils. Faber opened his first factory on the East River at the foot of 42nd Street in 1961, but moved to Kent and West Streets in Greenpoint after a fire in May 1872. The company kept adding buildings to its complex until 1924, and eventually left New York for Wilkes-Barre, Pa. in 1956.

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Marking Our Land

So I read yesterday that the Pencil Factory is on the block to be landmark. Nah, not the bar the actual old Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory on Greenpoint Avenue.

“The yellow pencils, roughly 10 feet tall and still sharp after 83 years, adorn the facade of 61 Greenpoint Avenue, once part of the Eberhard Faber factory in Greenpoint, where No. 2 Mongol pencils were made until 1956. Together with structures on West and Kent Streets, the building is part of the proposed two-block Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District.”

Not to mention the old Domino Sugar plant in Williamsburg is also under consideration.

“The commission also heard overwhelmingly favorable testimony on a proposal to designate the former Domino sugar processing plant in the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as a landmark.”

And McCarren Park Pool has just been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as well.

As was generally expected, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated McCarren Pool (and surrounding buildings) a New York City landmark.


I think it’s great that they’re considering these types of buildings to be saved from demolition – or God forbid more Belvederes. Not that I hate the Belvederes all that much, they’re pretty nice, actually. Compared with some of the row housing that Greenpoint is made up of, they might even be better. The true monstrosity is that Eckford & Engert. They remind me of those old commercials for termites where the people live in all concrete housing – even the couch.

I live in a landmark myself. A landmark building that has waterbugs, bed bugs and live mice that are apparently stuck in glue traps and tossed from windows so that you are privy to a dying, writhing little critter on your fire escape. Or so the handwritten note on the mailboxes suggests.

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