Monday, January 15, 2007

You Meet the Most Interesting People, Part I

Old Dutch Site

So, GL was wandering on N. 1st Street between Wythe and Kent in Williamsburg, which is the back side of the site where the Old Dutch Mustard Company Building stood until not long ago. A car pulled up and and older guy got out and walked to the big blue construction fence around the site. He started looking through holes and gaps in the fence. Eventually, he walked over to us and said, "Nothing left in there." He looked nostalgic when he said this.

We nodded and said that the building had been gone for several months.

"I know," he said. "I used to own the Old Dutch Mustard building."

That plot, plus several others were sold to Steiner Equities for $25 million.

"You owned it?" we said. He was modestly dressed, driving an non-descript car.

He explained that he'd owned the property since the 1950s. "There was a time it was nothing but a nuisance. Then it was worth $1 million and all of a sudden $4 million. That was some building too. They had to work to get it down."

"It was a nice building."

"They wanted to save it. They really wanted to save it, but there was no way they could make it work."

He looked at GL, with two cameras, asked us what we did. We could have explained the whole blog thing and that, ironically, we'd covered the Old Dutch demolition blow-by-blow.

"I'm a photographer."

We chatted a bit more, talking about development in the neighborhood and about the old Domino Sugar plant down the street.

His wife got out the car and called him. He turned, telling us to have a nice day, and we didn't have the presence of mind to ask him to pose for a photo. We told him it was nice talking with him.

Of all the random encounters we could have in Williamsburg, it was more than a little ironic to have run into the former owner of Old Dutch coming back for a nostalgic look at the property he'd once owned.


Blogger Third Street said...

You really do an amazing job on your blog.

10:26 AM  
Blogger EFB said...

Nice story.

4:19 PM  

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