Residents from around Brooklyn still look up as they ride the outdoor elevated section of the F/G subway line at the 4th Avenue-9th Street and Smith-9th Streets stops, hoping to catch a glimpse of the iconic sign which is no longer there.
Luckily, the letters from the sign remain intact. Elyahu Cohen, the building’s owner, donated them to the Gowanus Alliance.
Those letters are stored away for now, but their memory will live on this Saturday at the Gowanus Souvenir Shop — in replica form on a far smaller scale.
David Shulman and Terence Arjo are co-founders of Fort Greene-based Boundless Brooklyn, a small company which has been creating craft model kits from 100% recycled chipboard material.
Shulman told BKLYNER that the two-person company began with their water tower model about three years ago. “We started prototyping, and then slowly started expanding.”
But their focus shifted to a Kentile Floors kit around the time the actual sign came down. “We knew the real one would be gone for awhile,” he said.
Shulman has a personal attachment to the sign. He explains that his grandparents used to live in Windsor Terrace. When he’d take the subway to his grandfather’s office in Manhattan, he got used to seeing it twice a day.
“Sadly my grandparents passed away. Losing the Kentile sign is further remembrance that they are gone,” he said.
Shulman and Arjo will be on hand for the Kentile Sign Appreciation Party, which is being hosted by Gowanus Souvenir Shop (GSS) at their relatively new digs at 567 Union Street (between Nevins Street and 3rd Avenue).
“We were especially happy that they decided to reissue the Kentile Sign. We had many customers asking about it after we sold out,” said GSS co-owner Ute Zimmermann. “The Kentile Sign and its demise and the love people have for it is such a perfect symbol of what is happening in Gowanus. A disheveled neighborhood and canal, that is loved by so many from all walks of life and that is threatened to be ruined.”
The Gowanus Souvenir Shop — wry purveyors of all things toxic — will be hosting the event this Saturday, October 29 from 5pm-7pm. The store will also feature Kentile artworks, including prints, a video and photographs, as well as t-shirts, and jewelry.
“We love the Boundless Brooklyn Watertower, Kentile Signs and Halfpipe kits we carry for many reasons. They are the perfect objects.” adds Zimmermann. “Also, they are a small operation run by some very nice folks. If Bauhaus was still active and based in Brooklyn, they would be making the kits these guys are making.”
The Event Rundown: Kentile Floors Sign Appreciation Party
When: Saturday, October 29, 5pm-7pm
Where: Gowanus Souvenir Shop, 567 Union Street between Nevins Street and 3rd Avenue (note new location)