McKibbin Street Lofts

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255 McKibbin St. (right) and 248 McKibbin St. (left)

The McKibbin Street Lofts are two opposing loft buildings in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They share similar features, such as 5 floors (16 apartments per floor at 255 and 20 at 248). The apartments range in size from 400 to 2500 square feet (various units between the first and second floors of both buildings are duplexes). Approximately 400 tenants live in the two buildings. The building has a reputation for hosting raucous all-night "loft parties." Given this, and the preponderance of twenty-something recent college graduates living in the two buildings, the buildings have been given the nickname "Art Dorm."

The building was constructed in 1936[1] and served as a factory space manufacturing various textiles and garments including a pioneer in light fixture manufacturing[2] until 1998, when it was converted into residential lofts.[3]

Incidents[edit]

  • In February of 2012 residents occupying the lower two floors of 255 Mckibbin street received a Narrative Statement from the New York City Loft Board indicating building management had applied for protection.
  • On July 19, 2011, FBI agents raided 255 McKibbin Apt 510 looking for members of vigilante group Anonymous. Former residents from rock band Broken Glow were mentioned in a New York Post article as possible suspects, though no further action was taken against the musicians.[4][5]
  • On July 4, 2005, at approximately 11 AM, at 255 McKibbin Street, apartment number 222 (304 in the new numbering) exploded, causing major structural, smoke, and water damage to surrounding units. The explosion is thought to have been caused by the combustion of wood sealant vapor. Apartment 222 had recently been vacated, and was being refurbished by the building's management; the wood floor had been coated with sealant, and left unattended to saturate. When sealant vapor reached the pilot light of the unit's stove (which had not been turned off), it exploded. The windows and metal window frames in 222 were ripped out of the building's brick walls.[6]

255 McKibbin[edit]

LEGroom[edit]

Until late 2012, 255 was home to LEGroom, a loft event space. Currently, The Chocolate Factory theater and visual art organization throws biweekly events.[7]

Loft law[edit]

As of September 2012 only the 4th and 5th floors have a certificate of occupancy. The remaining floors have been submitted for inclusion in the 2010 Loft Law. This process was initiated by the building management.

In February 2012 most residents of the 1st (technical basement) 2nd and third floors received copies of the Narrative Statement outlined in the Loft Law. On July 9, 2012 the loft board revoked registration for units 101, 102, 103, 109 and 110 due to those units being located in the basement.

Cafe at 248 McKibbin[edit]

Potion Cafe was in the middle of 248 McKibbin. Open 6 days a week (closed on Wednesdays), the cafe had a wide variety of food and beverages. On Mondays, there was an open-microphone night attended by many local singer-songwriters, hip hop artists, poets, with performers from all over the world appearing. Potion Cafe has recently reopened and the collective is hosted regularly by "The G" until its closure, but the core members have continued to host the open mic at The Tea Factory Lofts and the cafe is now open 7 days a week (175 Stockholm Street).[8] The progressive-rock band of the same name resides in upstate New York.

As of July 2012 the unit previously holding the Potion Cafe has been undergoing construction. In February 2013, a sign was posted advertising another business, two4eight, will take over the spot. As of July 2013 two4eight is operating a bakery and coffee shop in the location 7 days a week. In early 2014 two4eight has closed. The owners of Lit Lounge will be opening a cafe / bar as well as an event space. The cafe is slated to open March 16th.[9]

On March 16, 2014, Currant Cafe was opened.

In media[edit]

  • Several scenes from the Spirit Award nominated film Quiet City were shot at 255 McKibbin, during the fall of 2006.
  • In 2005, writing/director/actor John Cameron Mitchell flyered the buildings in hopes of shooting a critical scene of his Shortbus movie here in which two characters spot each other from across an alley or street. A more appropriate location in two Williamsburg, Brooklyn lofts was eventually chosen.
  • An article on the front page of The New York Times on May 7, 2008 described the 248 and 255 McKibbin buildings and their free-wheeling atmosphere extensively.[10]
  • 248 Mckibbin's Apt 1G or known from 2004-2010 as "the G" was featured on Fox Japan where one of the residents was in a documentary.

References[edit]

  1. ^ City of New York, Office of the President of the Borough of Brooklyn, Department of Buildings, Certificate of Occupancy, October 6, 1936 [1]
  2. ^ Artcraft Fluorescent Corp. Artcraft
  3. ^ New York City, Department of Buildings, Work Permit 300818694-01-EW-OT
  4. ^ Margolin, Josh; Chiaramonte, Perry; Mangan, Dan (July 20, 2011). "Feds raid B'klyn, LI homes in cyber crackdown". New York Post. 
  5. ^ Deming, Garrett (March 5, 2012). "Bushwicks most wanted, Broken Glow and the FBI". Broken Glow. 
  6. ^ New York City, Department of Buildings, Complaint 3162192
  7. ^ New York City Board of Standards and Appeals, agenda item 234-04-BZ234-04-BZ [2]
  8. ^ openmikes.org
  9. ^ http://bedfordandbowery.com/2014/02/lit-is-opening-a-place-in-the-mckibbin-lofts/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Buckley, Cara (May 8, 2008). "Young Artists Find a Private Space, Only Without the Privacy". The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2008. 

Coordinates: 40°42′21″N 73°56′16″W / 40.7058°N 73.9378°W / 40.7058; -73.9378