Saturday, May 03, 2014

"Snow-white Temples of Industrial Cleanliness": Ward Bakery ads in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The Ward Bakery in Brooklyn, on Pacific Street near Vanderbilt Avenue, has been demolished for a parking lot (and ultimately housing), after operating from 1911 to 1995 as a bakery, with a small piece continuing as a storage facility. (More on the history here.)

We'll see that parking lot on my Jane Jacobs Walk today.

The bakery's fate wasn't inevitable--Forest City Enterprises actually prizes itself on historic preservation, though not in this case-- but that depends on circumstance, tax credits, and the absence of a competing plan to build towers on a superblock.

The Ward Bakeries, once amazing industrial advances, were ultimately pushed out by national chains. A former facility in Newark is now Bakery Village, a housing development. In Syracuse, the Ward Bakery was demolished for a park. The Brooklyn twin, in the Bronx, has become self-storage, it seems. (Here's what it used to look like.)

Thanks to the newly digitized full run of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, we now see how the Ward Bakery advertised itself to Brooklynites, touting supreme quality and industrial cleanliness, a big deal at a time when local bakeries were being cited for sanitary violations. Locals were even invited to tour the plant.

Right click to open up individual graphics and see the date.


















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