Begun in 1897, Atlantic Terra Cotta was in operation until the early 1930’s when it fell victim to the Depression, as so many other businesses did.
By 1906, the company was employing up to 500 people, making it one of the largest employers on Staten Island. Fondly talked about by current Tottenville residents, many credited the company for providing housing for their employees.
Terra cotta was fire-resistant, lightweight cladding and construction material, which was extremely versatile and relatively inexpensive.
Atlantic Terra Cotta was the primary manufacturer of architectural terra cotta ornaments used on major skyscrapers and other buildings. The reach of Atlantic Terra Cotta was way more than just Tottenville, examples being the Woolworth & Flatiron Buildings in Manhattan and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The company’s smokestack was a familiar Tottenville landmark for 80 years until 1988 with the demolition of the 135-foot structure.
Photos & Information on the Internet
Philadelphia Museum of Arthttp://www.philamuseum.org/information/45-19.html
Tottenville Historical Society http://www.tottenvillehistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=2&Itemid=14
Staten Island Advance http://www.silive.com/specialreports/index.ssf/2011/03/atlantic_terra_cotta_adds_styl.html