On my morning photo walk I happened upon a large brick building a block from Highline Park that appeared to be a huge warehouse of sorts. It had a nice inviting entryway that beckoned me inside. Immediately, I was taken aback by this massive industrial corridor. It was a blend of old and new, brick and glass, and cold steel. It was just cool!
Honestly, as I ventured further inside it became more of a mystery exactly what this place was! Peering through glass windows I saw huge vacant rooms blanketed in rough hardwood floors and supported by gigantic old-growth beams. Colorful red and white light illuminated the wood and my photographic juices were flowing. As I shot away I began imagining what my final images would look like.
As I have mentioned before, I find great fun in returning home and researching what I photographed. In this case the story is really quite intriguing! The large seven-story building, which takes up a full block, is called the Terminal Stores complex and built in 1891 for $650,000. It was originally a warehouse with rail lines running down the center of the long corridor, connecting to docks on the Hudson River. At the time it was erected it was an impressive fortress bustling with activity.
By the 1930’s, new facilities and a rerouted rail line pushed the complex into the shadows. Not until 1983, when a Renaissance man named Coleman P. Burke bought the aging building with a group of investors for $12.3 million was it transformed into what it is today. Reading about Burke he is quite an impressive fellow! He has led flag expeditions to Patagonia and Tierra de Fuego, supported Dr. Robert Ballard’s work (the guy who found the Titanic) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and spent years in search of dinosaur bones around the world. The guy even has a dinosaur named after him!
For now, the Terminal Stores complex is home to one of the largest mini storage businesses in the country. While Mr. Burke has been offered plenty of coin for the place, he and his partners have not sold out. Something tells me more will be revealed in time (maybe a Dinosaur museum?). The images today are in honor of Mr. Burke and his adventurous life.