Built in 1915 by world-renowned architect Cass Gilbert to house the Austin, Nichols & Co. manufacturing plant and, later, the Wild Turkey whiskey distillery, 184 Kent Ave has been famously defined as “grandeur of scale, and a certain sublimity of general effect.”1 As one of the earliest reinforced concrete warehouses in the US, the Austin, Nichols & Co. stocked and imported fine goods and operated in what has been called “the model of modern construction and efficiency.”2 Distinguished by the unique features of its Egyptian Revivalist design, the building is a testament to originality and artistic simplicity, earning it designation as a New York City landmark and a listing in the National Register of Historical Places.
1. Memo. CG Papers. NYHS. Box 45.
2. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 25, 1915. 6.
Williamsburg has been a place of vision and innovation since its founding in 1792. Throughout the 19th Century, it attracted early businesses such as Astral Oil Works, Domino Sugar, and Rheingold and Schlitz, establishing its waterfront as one of the most important shipyards in America. In the 1970s, artists found a haven in the neighborhood, leading to a rise in art movements that have shaped it into one of the world’s most distinguished cultural destinations.