5. The Lorillard Snuff Mill, 1840
The Lorillard Snuff Mill, the oldest existing tobacco manufacturing building in the United Sates, is believed to have been built around 1840. It’s an example of a vernacular type of utilitarian building, with stone walls and a brick trim. The mill overlooks the Bronx River, and water from the river powered the mill’s machinery, grinding tobacco into the smokeless, powdery substance known as snuff.
The mill was in operation until 1870, when the Lorillard family moved their firm to a new location, and the City of New York bought the property 1884. The land was transferred to the New York Botanical Gardens in 1915, and after a 10.5 million dollar restoration in 2010, the “Old Snuff Mill” is now used by a catering facility. Nearby, on what was also originally Lorillard family property, is the Edible Academy of the New York Botanical Garden, which opened its redesigned facility to much fanfare last year.