2. The Gretsch, 60 Broadway, Williamsburg

The Gretsch Building in gray

In 2003, The Gretsch Building joined a long list of Brooklyn warehouses that had been converted into condos. The 10-story complex overlooks the Williamsburg Bridge and contains 120 loft condominiums designed by Andres Escobar. Inside the lobby, two antique guitars give you a clue to the building’s past.

In 1883, German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch set up a small shop in Brooklyn where he made handcrafted banjos, tambourines, and drums. When Friedrich died in 1895, his 15 year old son Fred took over the business and moved operations to a large, 10 story building at 60 Broadway in 1916. By 1920, Gretsch had become the country’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments. Today, Gretsch drums and guitars are still popular and have been used by iconic musicians like George Harrison of the Beatles and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones. The Gretsch name is still emblazoned on the outside of the Broadway condos.

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