The Domino Sugar Factory, one of New York City’s architectural icons, dominates the waterfront of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Built in 1856 by the Havemeyer family, it was the first of dozens of sugar refineries that contributed to the area’s emergence in the nineteenth century as the industrial center of the Port of New York.
By the end of the Civil War, the factory had become the largest sugar refinery in the world, employing over 4,000 workers and processing 3 million pounds of sugar a day–more than half of the sugar consumed in the entire county. After a fire in 1882, it was completely rebuilt to include the two grand brick buildings and distinctive smokestack that still stand today. The highly recognizable “Domino Sugar” sign was added the 1950s, transforming the 90,000-square-foot complex into a true New York City landmark.