Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Iron Men

Pacific Street in Crown Heights has a light-industrial feel to it, but peeking through the car repair shops and MTA workshops is the fantastic sculpture above. Reminiscent of the classic 1930s-era skyscraper-construction photos, the piece sits atop the entrance to Piscopo Iron Works, formerly of Red Hook. The owner, Franco Nogara, is a Sicilian immigrant with over 50 years of experience in the ironworking business, whose work is remarkable enough to have earned him a NYTimes article 17 years ago.

As a final piece of ironworking history, the men depicted in the images and sculpture were most likely Mohawks, who made up the bulk of the high-rise workforce from the 1930s-1960s, temporarily settling in Boerum Hill.

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