Domino- The Processing House
If there is one thing that everyone (or at least everyone at Tuesday's Landmarks hearing) seems to agree on, it is that the Domino Sugar Processing House should be a New York City Landmark. Preservationists, neighborhood activists, the developer and affordable housing activists all agreed that this complex of three buildings was worthy of designation.
Highlighted in the photo above, the Processing House is really a complex of three buildings serving three separate functions. The western portion of the building, 12 stories tall, is the Filter House. The eastern portion of the building, 10 stories tall, contains the Pan House and the Finishing House. It was within this one building, er complex, constructed in 1883, that raw sugar cane was converted into powdered sugar - at the rate of 3 million pounds a day.
The Processing House is certainly the most architecturally distinguished building on the site, with its round arch window openings and distinctive brick corbeling at the window heads and cornices. Although largely obscured by later buildings to the west (river side), the base of the original chimney stack is still visible (there are some fantastic photos here). The tall oval smoke stack was a later addition, constructed in the early 1930s.
The top of the Processing House has been altered over time. The Filter House originally included a pair of pyramidal-roof towers at the north and south end of the building. These were demolished in the 1950s, and the existing east wall of the Filter House - which almost looks like an addition - was constructed. The decorative parapets of the Pan and Finishing House along Kent Avenue were also demolished at about this time. The original Domino Sugars sign was located on top of this building - it appears that it was removed in 1961 or so, when the existing sign was installed on the Bin Structure.