This is one of the most important series I’ve ever done in NYC, simply because this space no longer exists in this way. My friend Faye was living in Williamsburg a few blocks from the abandoned Domino Refinery, and she had a special tie to this building. She suggested we try breaking into it and exploring. In an absolute miraculous turn of events, we broke in TWICE, both on Sunday mornings.
At the time they were breaking ground on what is now known as Domino Park (which is gorgeous, if you want a nice date night) and there was rubbish and piles of dirt everywhere. Somehow we both knew this was our only chance to document the place, and I told Faye we had a better chance of being left alone if we were blatantly there for photographs if we got caught. But we didn’t get caught, thankfully, and we have these beautiful photographs as treasure.
Faye is English so we thought it would be funny if she dressed as Britannia and in a ballgown in this scenario, and she did with gusto. We found that filthy pickaxe on the grounds and it just worked perfectly. The last photo of her by the backhoe demonstrates just how immense this building really is – that is just one level, the basement. Each level was a gigantic cavern that still smelled of burnt sugar and rust.