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Kentile Sign

About this listing

A big, building-top neon sign belonging to a pioneering vinyl floor manufacturer

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Gowanus
Industrial, Manufacturing

Place Matters Profile

At its peak in the 1960s, Kentile Floors employed more than 400 people at its Gowanus plant. The plant's huge rooftop neon sign is one of the last local remnants of the pioneering vinyl-floor-covering manufacturer, which was founded 100 years ago by Brooklynite David B. Kennedy. In 1988, Kentile left Brooklyn for locations in Chicago and New Jersey. Resurrected by a new management team in 1996, the business is now called the Kentile Operating Company and is still in the flooring business.

The future of the sign is under consideration. The site is important as a connection to the heritage of the company as a family-owned Brooklyn Business. Now that the company is celebrating its centennial year and attempting to build on the heritage of the old Kentile, the mammoth sign might once again light up the Brooklyn sky.

On The Web article with photos


Harriet Millman Reed

My father, Max Millman had a silk-screen business after he got out of the Army in the late 1940's. One of his early client was Kentile. He passed away some years ago. Every time I ride the F (or G train) I look for the Kentile sign and give a silent salute to Dad. In the ago of digital media, signs such as this are going the way of the DODO. (April 2010)

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