When the news hit in recent days that Forest City is entertaining offers
from developers interested in renovating the massive Building 202
at 5th and M, a long-dormant ember deep in my brain was re-sparked: would someone ever take pity on the JDLand camera and allow some interior "before" photos of the 1941 building also known as the Broadside Mount Shop and the Gun Assembly Building?
It turns out that sometimes the best way to do something you've wanted to do for 12 years is to actually ask.
Last week I was given a tour of the 215,000-square-foot building, often by flashlight since there is no power currently on inside, and here is a gallery of photos for your perusal
. There were some areas I was not allowed to depict here: I guess when I finally write a book about all of this in 2030 or so I will get to unveil that particular mystery.
However, you are still able to see a pretty astonishing space, even given its current run-down state, and it's easy to see why developers would be eyeing it as a potential high-risk high-reward rehabilitation of a historic building. The inner atrium runs the complete length of the building and up to the roof, while the sides of the building (where the four narrow strips of windows are in the above photo) offer the sort of industrial/exposed-brick goodness that plenty of architects spend a lot of time trying to emulate.
As mentioned above, Forest City does not have plans for the building anytime soon, and decided to market it to see whether another company might potentially have a vision for it that meshes well with the general direction of the Yards--and one that of course would be willing to pay more than a few pennies to buy the building.