2. The T.H. Roulston, Inc. Buildings, 70-124 9th Street, ca. 1910

T.H. Roulston, Inc. Buildings in Gowanus, Brooklyn
Picture courtesy of The Gowanus Landmarking Coalition

Thomas Roulston’s story is one of those self-made success stories that are an integral part of New York City’s inspiring history. Roulston’s father was an Irish immigrant who started out as a grocery clerk in Brooklyn, but he eventually became the grocery’s owner. Thomas Roulston carried on his father’s legacy, and by 1888 owned three grocery stores and bought the 70-124 9th Street lot in order to construct a grocery warehouse. This warehouse served as the central storage facility for the Roulston Company. The company would grow to 300 stores across all five city boroughs.

The Roulston Buildings, just a few blocks off of the Gowanus expressway, are examples of Renaissance Revival architecture. The brick buildings feature corbeled cornices and segmentally arched windows. Today, though not landmarked, the building has been preserved and converted into Roulston House, a creative Class A office building.