About the Williamsburg former MGP Site

The Williamsburg Gas Light Company was incorporated in 1850 and is the first known operator of the Williamsburg MGP. The Williamsburg MGP is first shown on an 1887 map. At that time, the MGP gas production facilities were isolated to the 2 North 11th Street and 20 and 21 North 12th Street properties and consisted of coal gas production facilities including a retort house, an engine room, a meter house, and a condenser house. Gas storage and purification facilities included three gas holders, a governor house, a purifying house, two tar tanks, scrubbers and lime houses.

In 1895, the Williamsburg Gas Light Company and others merged to form the Brooklyn Union Gas Company (BUG), a predecessor to National Grid. A 1905 map indicates that the MGP was referred to as the BUG Williamsburg Branch and a gas holder was shown at 35 Kent Avenue. Based upon the age of construction, the holder was likely a pit style holder with a subgrade foundation.

In 1905, the gas production facilities at 2 North 11th Street had remained relatively unchanged with the exception of the addition of iron tanks and a pump house. One circular gas tank, a generator house, a condenser house, and exhauster houses were noted at 20 North 11th Street. Purifying houses were noted at 21 North 12th Street. By 1916, the Williamsburg MGP appears to have converted to water gas production as evidenced by the addition of generators and conversion of the retort house to a generator house at 20 North 11th Street. Two additional oil tanks and a tar slop tank were noted at 2 North 11th Street.

The Williamsburg MGP ceased operation and the MGP structures were dismantled prior to 1941, as evidenced by the vacant lots shown in a 1941 map.  After the dismantlement the Williamsburg former MGP site was subdivided and redeveloped for commercial, industrial and manufacturing uses.

A brief history of the post-MGP by current parcel address indicates what is known of past and present uses of those properties, all of which are owned by third parties.

  • 2 North 11th Street [Block 2287 Lot 30] – The property was used for oil truck parking from approximately 1978 until 1982. The current warehouse building was constructed in 1985 and used for lumber storage from 1988 until 1995.

  • 20 North 12th Street [Block 2287 Lot 16] – In 1965 a repair shop, office and scrap metal storage were on the property. By 1978, the property and buildings were vacant except for the office. In 1983, the buildings had been demolished and the property was used for parking. The current warehouse building was constructed in 1985 and used for lumber storage from 1988 until 1995.

  • 21 North 12th Street (50 Kent Avenue) [Block 2287 Lot 1] – A warehouse/industrial building was constructed by 1951 and was occupied by the Ferro-Co. Corp. for sheet metal product manufacturing. By 1965, the building was occupied by Commercial Corrugated Container Corp. By 1978, the property was occupied by a New York City sanitation garage, which currently occupies the site.

  • 35 Kent Avenue [Block 2288 Lot 1] – The property was developed as a garage in 1949 and utilized a gasoline storage tank as part of the operations. Colonial Tempered Glass currently operates the garage.

Williamsburg site location map