Brooklyn’s Sweet Ruin

Brooklyn’s Sweet Ruin: Relics and Stories of the Domino Sugar Refinery
by: Paul Raphaelson
To Be Published: Oct 2017

The Domino Sugar Refinery is an iconic figure of the Williamsburg skyline. At one point it was the world’s largest sugar refinery, processing 4 million pounds of raw sugar a day. However production steadily decreased throughout later half of the 20th century and it eventually closed in 2004. Though it was granted historic landmark status in 2007, its fate has been in limbo since.

When I lived in Brooklyn I’d run by it daily, always wondering what was going on behind those shuttered doors. I mean, it stands on prime real estate in an area intent on gentrification, where posh waterfront studios just keep shooting up at an alarming rate. “Brooklyn’s Sweet Ruin” gives a final glimpse into the heart of the Domino Sugar Refinery before its demolition. There is a certain sadness in seeing relics of an industrialized era, but in the nostalgia there is awe and wonder at what architecture and workforce are capable of.

4.5 out of 5 stars: The photos are absolutely gorgeous (with an undeniable “Fallout” vibe) but what I appreciated most was the accompanying write up: interviews with workers, a brief history of the refinery, and context for its place in history.

From the Kickstarter page, view from the East River

PS: Apparently this book started as project on Kickstarter, and you can find more information on this video posted by Paul Raphaelson and his website.

// I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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