LE COMTE & Co., INC., Red Hook

ForgottenFans who have been with me for a while know that my favorite type of architecture is unadorned, low-rise brick construction, whether used for manufacturing, warehousing, or even residential. I live in an apartment complex in Little Neck consisting of one-story buildings that rather resemble this one, albeit in a garden setting, with lawns and conifers. I’m glad I’m there and hope to remain as long as I can.

I treasure these old brick buildings, as they often remind you of the lost manufacturing or other work that has long since deserted the region. Here’s one at Ferris and Walcott Streets on Red Hook’s west end. Le Comte (the name means “The Count” in French) was a manufacturer of a specialty general line of metal cans and metal waste baskets. A listing in the Merchants and Manufacturers Association of Bush Terminal pamphlet in 1962 says the firm was then celebrating its 60th anniversary. Thus, we can infer that the building bearing the company’s name was built sometime in the first decade of the 20th Century.



I’ve been past this building a number of times, but didn’t previously notice a smaller painted ad on the corner: “Tin cans, galvanized iron and terne plate drums for export and domestic trade.” Terne is a protective coating made for steel, mostly tin these days, but in the past an alloy of lead or zinc and tin. Similarly, galvinization uses zinc as the protective coating.




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