The Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory, the district's namesake, occupied this site from 1872 until 1956. Employing hundreds of workers, the factory was an economic mainstay, and the district today, composed of eight buildings and the remnants of three factory facades, is an important relic of industrial Brooklyn. The building at 100-106 West Street predates Faber's factory, and was likely built in the 1860s. Constructed in the Italianate style, it incorporates elements inspired by the German Renaissance Revival or “Rundbogenstil,” including a brick corbelled parapet and gables.
The district's most prominent building is the six-story structure at 47-60 Greenpoint Avenue, constructed from 1923 to 1924. This edifice's decorative themes are especially pronounced, featuring oversized reliefs of pencils, diamonds along the parapet, and the company's logo in terra cotta. The stylized quality of the designs lends the facade an art deco feel.
The industrial viability of Greenpoint declined after World War II, and the Faber pencil company closed its doors in 1956. The factory buildings were subsequently sold to various investors, and some were converted into residential condominiums. ©2014