With Two Trees Management set to transform Brooklyn's famed Domino Sugar Refinery into an affordable housing complex, there isn't much time left to enjoy it in its original state. Luckily, arts organization Creative Time gave the old factory a chance to shine by opening its sticky-sweet doors to hundreds of guests for its annual gala. The cavernous warehouse has yet to be gutted, and still bears a thick coating of burnt sugar on its ceilings and walls, filling the space with a delightful saccharine scent. We joined in on this unique opportunity to experience the factory one last time - check out our photo gallery to follow along!
Both the factory space and the former loading docks were taken over by Creative Time, who had a light-up sign with their name spelled out in the Domino font made as a tribute to the iconic complex. Although most of the factory’s former machinery has long since been removed, several sorters still remain, and they were turned into makeshift bars for the event.
For the gala, Creative Time left the deteriorating interior as-is, bringing in long tables, candles and linens, and site-specific art installations. Years of thick layers of sugar were still evident on the walls, columns, remaining machinery and floor of the space, adding a rainbow of rust colors to the room.
The gala was a rare event to take a look inside the historic factory, which opened its doors in 1856 and refined sugar until 2004. In just a few years, the refinery site will offer affordable housing, and the 55,000 square foot adjacent lot will be temporarily developed into an urban farm, green space, bike courses and food vendors. Two Trees plans to open the site for community programming this month, and for the duration of construction.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat
Check out more pictures of the Domino Sugar Refinery on our Flickr stream!