A Domino Sugar sign is lighting up the Brooklyn skyline for the first time in almost 20 years


What’s old is new again: a replica of the iconic 40-foot-tall Domino Sugar neon sign that adorned the Brooklyn skyline for over a century has been installed on top of the historic Domino Refinery building, which served as the Domino Sugar Factory plant from the 1880s to the early 2000s. 

Domino Sugar Factory sign
Photograph: Courtesy of Two Trees

A bit of history: the legendary Thomas Havemeyer building was erected in 1882 on an 11-acre site in Williamsburg right by the East River. An extremely lucrative business from the start, the refinery produced 5,000 barrels of sugar daily back during the 19th century but, after World War II, as corn syrup and other alternatives gained popularity, the staff started solely refining liquid sugar on-premise.

In 2003, the plant shuttered and the site became home to new developments, including the now-beloved Domino Park. The building was protected by its landmark status, but the iconic sign was not and it was therefore moved to a nearby location.

Unfortunately, officials were not able to properly store the signage and so the one that was just installed on top of the building is actually a replica. Real estate developer Two Trees and Domino Sugar are currently looking for a new, proper home for the original sign.

Domino Sugar Factory sign
Photograph: Courtesy of Two Trees

The refinery building, on the other hand, has been undergoing a slew of renovations throughout the years that are continuing through today. Upon completion, the structure will stand 235 feet tall, it will be home to 460,000 square feet of office space, it will feature a barrel-vaulted glass dome and—of course—boast the new resplendent sign.

The LED replica is 43 feet and 6.5 inches tall, 65 feet and 8 inches wide and it apparently weighs less than its original counterpart given the fact that it is made with aluminum. It is, however, just as striking as its source of inspiration was.



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