Standard Motor Products Building

37-18 Northern Boulevard

When this building was completed in 1921, S. Karpen & Brothers, a Chicago-based upholstered furniture manufacturing company claimed that it was “the finest structure devoted exclusively to furniture making in this country” with over 150,000 square feet of floor space distributed over six stories. The factory’s unadorned concrete façade, consisting of 21 bays punctured by raised piers, is complemented by the decorative brickwork found at the cornice line and top story. In addition to its sheer size, the building stands out for the way it angles to conform to the curve of Northern Boulevard. Out of all of the factory’s occupants, Standard Motor Products had the longest history at this site, moving into the building in 1936 and manufacturing automobile engine parts here until 2008. Converted to small-scale commercial use between 2010 and 2014, the structure hosts a number of tenants, including the headquarters of Standard Motor Products, the Jim Henson Company’s New York office and a one-acre organic farm on its rooftop.